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Natural World

'Murder hornet' nest found with 1,500 larvae

August 29, 2021 | Comment icon 13 comments

You don't want to find one of these at your bedroom window... Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Justin Lindsay / Flickr
The battle to stop these giant, invasive wasps from gaining a foothold in the United States is heating up.
Measuring 1.8 inches long and with a venomous stinger quarter-of-an-inch in length, the 'murder hornet' can actually prove lethal to humans and is responsible for up to 50 deaths a year in Japan.

In addition, these predatory insects are known to attack honey bees which (unlike their Japanese counterparts) have no innate defense against them.

Preventing them from gaining a strong foothold in the United States, therefore, is very important.

Now workers at the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) have reported that they have found and destroyed a large nest of these gigantic flying insects in the base of a dead alder tree to the east of the city of Blaine in rural Whatcom County.
Inside, they discovered around 180 adult hornets and 1,500 larvae.

Due to their large stingers, it was necessary for the workers to suit up in protective gear and use a vacuum to hoover up the insects, their larvae and the nest structure.

The hunt is now on for other nests in the surrounding area.

"While we are glad to have found and eradicated this nest so early in the season, this detection proves how important public reporting continues to be," said WSDA entomologist Sven Spichiger.

"We expect there are more nests out there and, like this one, we hope to find them before they can produce new queens."

Source: Live Science | Comments (13)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by HandsomeGorilla 3 months ago
did I seriously make a separate thread about this same story? geez I need some sleep 
Comment icon #5 Posted by acute 3 months ago
@Orphalesion Are you trypophobic?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Orphalesion 3 months ago
Nope, but I do have a irrational fear of insect larvae and worms. And wasp larvae "plop" out of their holes when they want to be fed, that's so gross, and the nests they built are all discoloured and warped and grey and look like they are made out of melted paper mache. Compare that to bee hives, which are made of nice, yellow bee's wax and where the larvae lie curled up in beds of honey. Much nicer.
Comment icon #7 Posted by acute 3 months ago
Oh, great!  Now, I have to find out what the fear of 'larvae plop' is called. 
Comment icon #8 Posted by HandsomeGorilla 3 months ago
my mother was like that, absolutely terrified of anything that looked or moved like a worm. do you also fear parasitic worms? sorry if I'm grossing you out. already did, didn't I? she'd have dreams about it 
Comment icon #9 Posted by Orphalesion 3 months ago
Don't worry you are not grossing me out. Yeah I'm pretty sure my fear of larvae and worms is solely grounded in a fear of parasitism. Intellectually I know that none of the wormy things I'm likely to encounter where I live is capable of feeding off my still-living body (even flesh fly maggots only eat dead, decaying tissue) but emotionally it's a huge fear of mine (funny enough I'm not bothered by larger worm-shaped animals, such as snakes, I don't mind snakes at all) Of course, seen from an evolutionary perspective humans are, to some extend hard-wired to feel revulsion towards insect larvae,... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats 3 months ago
Japanese bees have a defence protocol for these hornets, maybe start bringing in Japanese bees?
Comment icon #11 Posted by Nnicolette 3 months ago
That is a great idea. Maybe even try to cross them with the honeybees. Oh wait... Isnt that how killer bees started? How do they fare against murder hornets? Also who is naming these things lol
Comment icon #12 Posted by GlitterRose 3 months ago
I know Raptor Witness gets a lotta flack for being all apocalyptic, but murder hornets... the hits just keep comin. The guy has a point. 
Comment icon #13 Posted by HandsomeGorilla 3 months ago
I refuse to say 'murder hornet'. we've known about them for a long time but only since they've come here has the media gone nuts and called them such a silly, dramatic name. what's next, a candiru being called a rape fish? rather childish and plays on people's fears of huge venomous insects that are potentially deadly. I mean, that's what they are...but still.  hornets, wasps, ants and mosquitoes are the only animals I borderline hate but I've still got their back lol  

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