'Murder Hornets' won't strike the Midwest anytime soon, expert says

The 2-inch-long Asian Giant Hornet that can sting multiple times has landed in the U.S.

Megan Lynch
May 04, 2020 - 4:36 pm

COLUMBIA, MO (KMOX) - Your coronavirus stress dreams may have been replaced by nightmares about giant, killer hornets invading the bi-state. 

Experts tells us, the 'Murder Hornet' shouldn't give us nightmares. 

"I wouldn't foresee the potential of it landing in Missouri anytime soon, to be of concern," explains Kevin Rice, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist at the University of Missouri. 

Reports of 'Murder Hornets' found in the Northwest U.S. filled news feeds the last few days.  Rice – who has studied the economic damage created by invasive insects, monitored dispersal patterns among habitats and created new pest detection methods – says it's likely just one colony of Asian Giant Hornet that hitchhiked in overseas cargo. 

He says it's a much greater risk to native bees or honey bees in that region. 

"So they will kill the adults and they also kill the larvae and the eggs inside which obliterates the colony," Rice says, unfortunately, the bees in our country don't have some of the defenses that Asian bees have developed.

Related: Wallace's giant bee, once thought extinct, has been found

Asian Giant Hornets typically like wooded, mountainous habitats, though he says they could adapt to other terrains.

They will sting humans if disturbed -- each one can sting repeatedly.  In other countries the pest is controlled with traps and does have some natural predators.

Again, Rice says experts aren't predicting a big migration of the 'Murder Hornet', "I wouldn't be concerned that it will disburse widely and affect us here in the Midwest."

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