Murder hornets are making their way to the United States. This invasive hornet species has the potential to ruin the summer ahead unless scientists and researchers figure out a creative solution to keep them at bay. Oddly enough, the solution might come in the form of a sex spray.
A Newsworthy Scientific Breakthrough
Researchers studying queen hornet sex pheromones are using them to establish traps that attract male murder hornets. The murder hornets, also known as the Asian giant hornets, hail from East Asia yet made their way to the United States near the end of 2019. Murder hornets are terrifying; they have stingers measuring about a quarter-inch in length. These aggressive flying insects attack crop fields, honey bee colonies, bugs, and people.
James Nieh, an academician studying the capture of murder hornets, recently gave an interview with The Independent, stating that murder hornets should not be in our part of the world. Nieh also noted that allowing the hornets to remain in North America has the potential to significantly reduce our bee population which helps maintain ecological homeostasis.
Nieh and his team of scientists recently determined that male murder hornets are attracted to the scent of the pheromones released by queens which consist of three unique acids. These same acids are available for sale since they are components of traps that help to snare male murder hornets. The male hornets are fooled into assuming they have an opportunity to breed, yet ultimately die when stuck in the trap.
Killing male murder hornets prevents them from reaching the queen, in an effort to eliminate the invasive hornets’.
A Murder Hornet-Free Summer?
Washington State Department of Agriculture employees and other government employees are setting murder hornet traps. These traps are primarily located along the U.S. border with Canada, since it is where the hornets are most likely to make their way into the country.
Murder hornets typically kill around 50 people per year in Asia as a result of a sting that injects a mandaratoxin neurotoxin. The hornets also kill by spraying venom into their targets’ eyes. There is concern that the death total will climb as the hornets spread into North America.
If the traps fail and murder hornets attack you or your family, experts recommend running away while shielding your face rather than swatting, since a violent motion will only aggravate them more.