Asian Giant Hornet is also known as the “Murder Hornet”
With the emergence of the Asian Giant Hornet in Washington State, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) is urging North Carolina residents to be vigilant and report potential sightings of the pest.
Asian Giant Hornets are the world’s largest species of hornet, measuring about 1.5-2 inches long. They have an orange-yellow head and prominent eyes, with black and yellow stripes on their abdomens. The hornet is not known to occur in North Carolina, and NCDA&CS apiary staff have been actively monitoring for the pest with no detection to date.
Said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler: “The Asian Giant Hornet is a threat to honeybees and can rapidly destroy beehives, but it generally does not attack people or pets. There are many wasp and hornet look-alikes that are beneficial insects, so residents are asked to exercise caution before deciding to kill any large hornets.”
Cicada killers and European hornets do occur in North Carolina and can be confused with the Asian Giant Hornet. Residents can visit agr.wa.gov/departments/insects-pests-and-weeds/insects/hornets/size-comparisons to see a photo of the Asian Giant Hornet along with common look-alikes.
(Ed. Note: Seriously, go and look at the comparisons. The “murder hornet” is much larger than the European hornets we have here in North Carolina.)
Be A Citizen Scientist
If you think you have seen an Asian Giant Hornet in North Carolina: Take a photo and submit it to the North Carolina State University’s Plant Disease and Insect Clinic. Instructions on digital submission may be found at projects.ncsu.edu/cals/plantpath/extension/clinic/submit-sample.html under Option 3: Submit a digital image.
(Ed. Note: Citizen scientists in Washington State, report WA Asian Giant Hornet sightings locally at agr.wa.gov/departments/insects-pests-and-weeds/insects/hornets.)
For more information about the Asian Giant Hornet, visit the NCSU Cooperative Extension or read the NCDA&CS pest alert at www.ncagr.gov/plantindustry/plant/entomology/documents/AsianGiantHornetPestWatch.pdf.
Beekeepers: Check out this article, Asian Giant Hornets Not A Problem for NC Beekeepers… yet?, by David Tarpy, NC State Extension.
Source: Joy Goforth, Plant Industry Division, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services