Entomologist Reject the Claim that Murder Hornets are “Real Murderers”

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Image- AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Entomologists have urged people to calm down and not panic over the murder hornet’s entry in the US. They say that they are only a problem for beekeepers and honeybees and not for any other person.

The Asian hornets were recently reported in Washington and within minutes they made to the headlines for being a threat to humans. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, this new health concern made people stressed and local residents started to fear while going out. The experts say that these big bugs do not kill humans although there are some rare cases of them biting humans. However, they are only a threat to honeybees and other insects that act as pollinators.

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Once this new statement was out in the press, many other experts on bugs came forward and told that this murder hornet’s entry in the US is just a hype and nothing else.

Some of them even compared it with 70’s hype of honeybees killing people in North and South America. Only some “aggressive” honeybees were involved in this matter however the blame was added to all honeybees and there were even movies made on this honeybee killings.

The experts say that calling these hornets as “murder hornets” just represents people’s fear and nothing else.

Chris Looney is an entomologist from Washington Agriculture Department and he is currently working on finding these hornets. He says that;

“They are not ‘murder hornets.’ They are just hornets.”

This nickname of “murder hornet” represents the killer nature of these two inches long bugs and portrays them as a risk for human health. For its big size, these bugs are thought to have a high amount of toxin in them which might be true in case it bites any person.

Keith Delaplane is a bee expert from the University of Georgia who says that this toxin is dangerous for humans. It is more of an African bee where “a lot” of the toxin is injected in you in one go.

Another entomologist from the University of Illinois, May Berenbaum says that probably people are afraid of something which is not that dangerous. The real threat to human health is roaming out there, mosquitoes. May says that people don’t really pay attention to these tiny flying creatures that are a constant threat to human health.

But as soon as a sensational new bug is spotted, everyone starts talking about it to be the next human biological warfare weapon.

Contrary to popular opinion, mosquitoes cause millions of deaths every year and it is reported from all parts of the world. Diseases like malaria and dengue fever do not get the hype that they justify, nor the mosquitoes get the negative fame that they truly deserve.

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World Health Organization (WHO) says that Asian hornets have the potential to kill a human but the cases of death by bite of murder hornet are probably less than a dozen. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports average annual deaths by the bites of hornets, wasps, and bees in the US are only 62 people per year.

In Asian countries, people have been living along with these “murder hornets” for centuries without any significant number of deaths reported by their attack.

Despite all these facts, the entomologists are being questioned for the dangers of murder hornet for humans, considering the giant bug has been reportedly spotted in the USA. Many of these bug experts say that its majorly a media hype and nothing else.

Probably the coronavirus pandemic has made people really sensitive and they are in a panic over something that might not be a big danger for them. Overall, 2020 has been horrible so far with news like these which are spreading more stress in home-ridden people. It is a dire need to address the general public with potential health threats and the best ways to protect themselves.

 

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