Health, Sci-Tech

Murder Hornet ‘unlikely’ to be in Maryland, say officials

NOTTINGHAM, MD—The Asian giant hornet is most likely not in Maryland.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture said it received many calls on Monday about the so-called “Murder Hornet.”

The insect was found in Washington state in late 2019.

The Asian giant hornet is the world’s largest hornet. It is native to temperate and tropical East Asia, South Asia, Mainland Southeast Asia, parts of the Russian Far East, and has recently been found in the Pacific Northwest, though there have been no reports since 2019 that would suggest they have become established there.

They prefer to live in low mountains and forests, while almost completely avoiding plains and high-altitude climates.

Its stinger is up to 10 mm long and contains a potent venom that, in cases of multiple hornets stinging simultaneously, can kill a human. The Murder Hornet is known to have killed 50 people a year in Japan before its arrival in the United States.

“We continue to monitor, though it is highly unlikely that the hornet is present in Maryland,” officials said on Monday.

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Any resident who sees a suspicious insect on their property can send pictures to ppwm.mda@maryland.gov.

More information on the Murder Hornet is available on the USDA website here.

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