what you need to know about murder hornets

By proof. Pest Control

If you pay attention to the news, you have probably seen countless horror stories about the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) that has made its way to North America. Most commonly known here as the “murder hornet,” this insect has quickly made a name for itself and left many people terrified.

As always, at proof. pest control, our team wants to do our part to help keep you informed. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about murder hornets.

what are murder hornets?

Native to Asia, murder hornets are the largest hornets in the world. The first sighting of this insect in the United States was in Washington in December 2019. Female workers from murder hornet colonies can grow up to 4 centimeters in length and a fully grown queen hornet can be over 2 inches long! Murder hornets are equipped with such large and powerful mouths that they are able to easily decapitate their victims, which tend to be other insects such as honeybees. They are also able to travel up to several miles per day at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour!

when are they most active?

Murder hornets are not active year-round. They begin to hunt in April and are at their most aggressive during late summer and early fall.

how dangerous are they?

While they will not attack humans or animals unless they are provoked, a sting from a murder hornet can be deadly. Each year, around 50 people in Japan are killed and thousands are injured by murder hornets. With stingers up to a quarter of an inch, these hornets can easily pierce beekeeper suits. A sting from a murder hornet is far more toxic and painful than that of a honeybee. Many have said that their stings feel like hot knives piercing the skin.

However, humans are not the main target for murder hornets. Instead, they focus their hunting efforts mainly on honeybees. Murder hornets received their nickname from their ability to kill thousands of honeybees, wiping out entire colonies at once. With vital honeybee populations declining more and more each year, the addition of murder hornets to North America can have devastating effects.

where are they found in north america?

The number of murder hornet sightings in North America remains relatively low. Each sighting has taken place in 2019. No sightings have been reported in 2020.

They have been found in:

  • Washington, U.S.

  • Vancouver Island, British Colombia

what should i do if i come across a murder hornet?

Anyone who comes across a murder hornet should use extreme caution, especially if they have a bee allergy. The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has issued a warning against coming into contact with murder hornets. Avoid swatting at these hornets, and instead, slowly and calmly remove yourself from their presence. You should only run to get away from murder hornets if you find yourself around multiple of them.

The WSDA also requests that any murder hornet sightings be reported to them as soon as possible. If you spot a murder hornet outside of Washington, you should report it to your local agricultural department.

schedule seasonal pest control today

At proof. pest control, we know pests so that you don’t have to. While murder hornets may not be in your area, you are bound to be affected by other pests such as beesmosquitoesantsmice, and more. Using effective, organic solutions, our residential and commercial pest control teams know how to flush existing pests from your property and build a perimeter surrounding it to keep out future invaders. Trust us to protect your family and provide you with a pest-free home!

To schedule pest control, give us a call at today. With us on your side, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed! 


Call proof. pest control at 888-291-5333, or send us a message online.