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Attack of the Killer Hornets

Posted October 07, 2013 12:00 PM by joeymac

There has been a huge uptick in hornet attacks in China this year by the Asian giant hornet, known scientifically as Vespa madarinia. Since July the hornets have killed 42 people and injured around 1,700 people in the Shaanxi province.

The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world. These hornets are found throughout East and Southeast Asia, in countries such as China, Korea, Japan, India, and Nepal. These hornets are very big, given the name "giant", they are about 1.4 to 1.5 inches in length, roughly the size of a human thumb. The queens are even bigger, and can grow longer than 2 inches.

What makes the Asian hornet so deadly is its venom. People are allergic to the venom which can cause fatalities. The venom of this hornet destroys red blood cells, which can result in kidney failure or multiple organ failure and death. The venom starts working at the sting site to immediately destroy the cellular tissue.

Stinger marks look like little bullet holes. The hornets are attracted to human sweat, alcohol, and sweet flavors and smells. They are especially sensitive to when animals or people run away, which triggers them to attack.

The Asian giant hornet's breeding season is in September and October so this is probably one reason why they've been so aggressive recently. Other reasons why there have been more attacks could be due to unusually dry weather in the Shaanxi province. An arid environment makes it easier for the hornets to breed. Another cause could be urbanization with humans moving into hornet habitat. Other additional factors could be increased vegetation and a decrease in the hornets' enemies such as spiders and birds because of ecological changes.

Currently the Chinese government has deployed thousands of police officers and locals to destroy the hives. Around 700 hives have been removed so far. To protect yourself wear long sleeves, and if you find yourself near a hive avoid it by calmly walking away. Don't panic if one buzzes around you, if you panic and flap at it or run away the hornets will attack and chase after you.

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#1

Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/07/2013 1:26 PM

We got Hornets....

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#2
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Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/07/2013 9:08 PM

We got them too

scary buggers

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#3

Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/07/2013 9:21 PM

We have the ring tailed mosquito.

(I will trade them for the hornets.)

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#4
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Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/07/2013 10:42 PM

No kidding!!

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#5
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Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/08/2013 4:06 AM

When they bite they feel like they are that big!

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#16
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Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

09/01/2016 3:22 PM

The Mossie in the picture has 4 20mm stingers. They will leave a mark that don't get unmarked.

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#6

Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/08/2013 9:40 AM

My wife goes into complete freakout mode, if a bee or wasp comes around her.

I've told her a thousand times, that that's the way to get stung.

My encounters have usually been while I'm on top of a tall ladder, so panic is not an option. It's not always easy, but if you just relax, they won't sting...even if they land on you and lap up a little sweat.

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Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/08/2013 11:12 AM

We used to always carry spray glue with us....it will take a whole flock down on contact....and at about a 10ft range....A real lifesaver when time is of the essence....

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Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/08/2013 11:31 AM

Good idea.

The problem with the long range bug killer, (20' or more), on top of a ladder, is that it splashes back in your face or drips all over your head, creating a bigger problem than the hornets...which is temporary blindness.

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#9
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Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/08/2013 12:09 PM

That is a novel idea. Do you use something like the 3M Super 77 in the big brown can?

(I wonder how long it will take to "import" some of those?? Yikes.)

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#10
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Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/08/2013 1:24 PM

Super 77 works great, especially with a fan nozzle. All the guys in our shop can testify to that. Only problem is 5' is the max range.

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Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/08/2013 2:05 PM

I forget what brand it seems like some generic stuff , now that I think about it more like about a 6 ft range.....they go down like a rock though, glues the wings....We did have some of that long range hornet and wasp spray, that had a 10 ft range, but you had to use too much....The glue, just one splat and that was it....You did have to keep an eye out for crawlers though....

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#12
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Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/08/2013 2:37 PM

I always have a can in my garage. I will keep that in mind. Thanks !!

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#13

Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/09/2013 12:50 PM

I especially love the section in this article under 'Native Honey Bee' - pretty cool defense!

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#14
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Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/09/2013 4:05 PM

Let's ROLL..!!

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#15

Re: Attack of the Killer Hornets

10/23/2013 12:57 PM

Reminds me of an episode of the original Outer Limits, entitled, The Zanti Misfits.

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