The Asian giant hornet is one of the most feared insects in the world. Over the last few years, countries such as Japan and China have reported devastating consequences from hornet attacks. The world’s largest hornet, this Asian variety is essentially like a huge wasp that can sting victims multiple times
Also known as the yak-killer hornet, this insect has developed a fearsome reputation for its aggressive nature and vicious method for killing prey. Giant hornets are even capable of of causing human death with their powerful, organ-crashing venom.
Anyone traveling in Asian countries should know as much about these hornets as possible in order to avoid any potential danger.
The Asian giant hornet is aptly named. It's the largest hornet in the world and a fully grown adult can almost completely cover a human’s hand. The winged-creatures are capable of growing up to two inches in length and can have a wingspan of up to three inches. This makes them many times larger than a typical wasp or hornet. Their stingers are typically as long as a fourth of an inch.
Many insects' bites and stings only prove fatal if their human victim is allergic. The Asian giant hornet is different because its venom is strong enough to kill even an allergy-free human, causing an alarming amount of injuries. Authorities in Japan report that around 40 people are killed every year after being stung by this bug. A similar amount of people are killed annually in China.
The Asian giant hornet's venom is not the most potent but it has the capacity to cause extensive damage. If a person is stung multiple times by the insect, it is almost always necessary for the victim to receive immediate medical attention. Otherwise, the person is likely to suffer from serious conditions that include respiratory failure or cardiac arrest. The venom can also cause necrosis, killing flesh and leaving rotting holes on the surface of the skin. In extreme cases, it can even lead to organ failure and kidney damage.
One of the main sources of food for the Asian giant hornet is the honey bee. The huge hornet is capable of wiping out entire hives in short periods of time due to its sheer size and ferocity. Once it has discovered a collection of bees, the hornet will release special pheromones to alert other nearby hornets. The group of them will then attack the hive. A single Asian giant hornet can kill up to 40 bees in a minute, meaning that they can devastate populations with just a few hornets.