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Asian Giant Hornet: What You Should Know

Gilles San Martin/ flickr

Today's topic is the Asian Giant Hornet or what some people are calling the Murder Hornet. You may have heard of this insect; it is a large hornet or wasp. It is one and a half to two inches long- so about the size of a matchbox.  

It has been found in Canada and in the very northwestern part of Washington along the Canadian borders. This horn is native to Asia. However, it's adapted and lives in low elevation, forested, wet, moist areas. Places that are very different from Utah.

That doesn't mean that invasive insects such as this hornet couldn't show up in Utah, but it's unlikely that it will thrive and expand here.

So, what are the concerns? This hornet is large, it delivers a very big dose of venom when it stings, it can be deadly to humans if stung multiple times, or someone who is allergic. It also is a big concern for honeybee colonies because this hornet is a predator on other insects, and it does go after honeybees and their hive.

So what should you do or be concerned about here in Utah? If you suspect that you see one of these large, yellow, and black Hornets, please reach out to Utah State University Extension and let them know. The Washington Department of Agriculture has a lot of good resources on their website.

I encourage you to not to panic, it's unlikely for this hornet to become established in Utah. It is a paper wasp, like others that we have here that are native and some other introduced species, however, it is much larger and has the potential to deliver a bigger sting.

Don't worry and enjoy getting outdoors and enjoying the lovely summer.