Swarms of Asian Giant hornet attacks have killed 42 people and injured 1,675 in China’s Shaanxi province since July, according to a CNN report.
The government says the Giant hornet attacks are from a particularly venomous species called the vespa mandarinia, the world’s largest hornet.
Their venom can cause allergic reactions and multiple organ failure leading to death, and their stings can leave deep dark craters the size of bullet wounds.
The giant hornet is from 3.5 to 3.9 centimeters long, about the size of a human thumb. It has an orange head with a black tooth is uses for burrowing, according to an animal database at the University of Michigan.
They tend to be aggressive and more active during September and October, their breeding season, and they do not go into hibernation until December, according to authorities.
Chinese authorities have deployed thousands of police and locals to destroy their hives, 710 of which have been removed.
Experts say the unusually dry weather in the area, which makes it easier for the hornets to breed, could have caused the high number of attacks.
Most of their hives are tucked away in secluded places, such as in tree hollows or underground, and humans can inadvertently irritate the hives.
The government has warned people to wear long sleeves when outdoors, and not to try to drive away the swarms or remove their hives.
The vespa mandarinia are found in eastern and southeastern Asia, especially in Japan, and are known to be formidable, carnivorous killers.
“It’s very difficult to prevent the attacks because hornet nests are usually in hidden sites,” he said.
Makino warned that the sting from an Asian giant hornet was severe compared with those of other hornets or yellow jackets.
Its venom sting is a neurotoxin so powerful that it dissolves human tissue, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
The giant hornets are attracted to human sweat, alcohol and sweet flavors and smells, and are especially sensitive to when animals or people run, according to Chinese state media.
One victim told reporters that “the more you run, the more they want to chase you.”
The giant hornets produce an average of 10,000 offspring each breeding season. They also feast on wasps and bees, launching coordinated attacks on the hives of their prey. Image/japonpop.com