Murder Hornets in the News Again

— Written By Michael Waldvogel
Side view of an Asian giant hornet worker

Asian giant hornet side view. Note stinger at tip of abdomen.

As if COVID-19 and Hurricane Isaias are not enough to keep all of us occupied, Asian giant hornets (aka, “murder hornets”) are back in the news after one was caught in a trap in northwestern Washington State back on July 14, 2020.

At this time of year in North Carolina, the “usual suspects” are most likely to be: a) European hornets, whose nests are growing larger but are often hidden in some cavity such as as a tree hole, and b) cicada killers which are busy picking off cicadas up in the trees and burying them in the ground as a meal for their future offspring.

For those of you who still think that you have found one before you call your local Extension office or local news outlet, we suggest you check out Matt Bertone’s side-by-side comparison of Asian giant hornets and our local hymenopteran “villains” who are actually beneficial.