Where are ‘murder hornets’ in the US and how long have they been here? – The Sun

AS the US comes to grips with being the country most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, investigations have revealed that giant Asian hornets have been spotted in the country. 

A single sting from the giant wasps, who have been given the name "murder hornets" can be fatal, killing up to 50 people a year.

Where are ‘murder hornets’ in the US?

In late 2019, two hornets were first spotted in Blaine, Washington.

Upon further investigation, it was revealed that they were indeed Asian hornets.

Although there have not been reported sightings anywhere else, scientists are worried they could spread quickly throughout the state and eventually the country.

How long have they been here?

It is currently unclear how long they have been in the US.

Scientists believe they must have accidentally been trapped in shipping containers from their country of origin.

This is not the first time they have been spotted in North America, however.

In August 2019, the deadly hornets were sighted in British Columbia, Canada.

A complete hive of the insects was discovered and destroyed in the Canadian case.

Where do 'murder hornets' originate from?

The insects are native to south-east Asia.

They are often confused with European hornets as a result of the similarity in their appearance.

Giant Asian hornets have also been spotted in other countries such as France in 2004 and the United Kingdom in 2016 and 2019.

Why are murder hornets deadly?

The venom from the giant Asian hornet's sting can be fatal to humans.

Although they generally avoid humans, they can launch an attack when they feel threatened or when their nest is approached.

A single sting to humans who are allergic to their venom can kill, while multiple stings can kill others who are not allergic.

If you spot the insects, they must not be approached or disturbed.

You must alert your local authority who will investigate and remove them.

The hornets pose a danger not only to humans but also local bees, who play a vital role in the ecosystem.

They feed on many types of insects, with honeybees being their speciality.

Their sharp mandibles enable them to dominate honeybees and feed on their larvae while also feeding their own young.

The population of honeybees in the US has been in sharp decline.

From 1947 to 2017, honeybee numbers dropped from 6 million to 2.5 million.

Honeybees serve as pollinators and are essential to the US ecosystem.

Giant Asian Hornets can have devastating consequences and cause environmental damages, which can cost millions of dollars each year.

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