If you happen upon this article, there is a good chance the largest bee you’ve ever seen just buzzed around you. After you had this frightening experience, you may have searched “huge bee in North Carolina,” and all the information pointed to the Asian or Japanese Giant Hornet. So are there Asian and Japanese Giant Hornets in North Carolina? With Scott’s Turf and Pest Services, pest control experts in Durham, North Carolina, let’s find out.
The good news and quick answer is this not what you saw. What you most likely had an encounter with the European Hornet or a Cicada Killer. With that said you can relax, as these bugs are gentle giants. Or not gentle completely, at least not a threat to any human.
What it isn’t
You may have seen a scary news report from somewhere like China reporting mass deaths from the Asian giant hornet. While they certainly are scary, they are not plaguing North Carolina residents. In fact, they aren’t anywhere in the Western hemisphere. They are native to tropical and temperate East Asia.
These stinging insects are enormous. The worker bees get to 1.4 inches, the queens can grow to 2.2 inches, with a nearly 3-inch wingspan.
Fortunately, though, they will never be in North Carolina.
What it is
European hornets or Cicada Killers do in fact kill cicadas. They do so by paralyzing the cicada with a venomous sting, taking it somewhere else, then laying eggs beneath it. When the larvae hatch, it eats the cicada.
That in mind the Cicada Killers could really care less about what you are doing in your backyard.
European hornets are similar in appearance to the Cicada Killers. They range from 1 inch to an inch and a half in length. They are brown with yellow strings on the abdomen, they can sting but only does so when threatened. They feed on grasshoppers, bees, and yellow jackets.
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