Finding yourself faced with wasps or hornets usually leads to two very different reactions: running away as soon as possible or trying to crush the insect. If the first solution may seem wise, the second is only apparently wise, especially if you intend to swat an Asian hornet . There is a valid reason why it is better to leave these creatures alone: let’s see it in the article, along with some advice on how to deal with Asian hornet stings and persistent nests.
Alien and dangerous species for bees: how does the Asian hornet behave?
With the scientific name of Vespa velutina, the Asian hornet is a widespread insect in Europe and Asia. Slightly smaller than the European hornet, it should not be confused with the Vespa mandarinia, which is much larger and represents the largest hornet in the world. As well as one of the most aggressive.
Net of these clarifications, in Europe the Asian hornet is an alien species but is not more dangerous to humans than other European hornets. In fact, Vespa velutina tends to become aggressive only if it feels threatened or perceives a danger to the nest. The pain of a possible sting is not followed by fatal outcomes, except for anaphylactic shock due to allergies.
But if it doesn’t pose a danger to us, why should we never swat the Asian hornet ? First of all, it is important to clarify that the real danger of Vespa Velutina concerns honey bees. This large hornet continually attacks bee colonies, which it is fond of. And since they are an alien species, European bees have not yet developed effective defenses.
Why shouldn’t you swat an Asian hornet?
Now, even knowing its behavior and knowing that it could threaten your bees or become aggressive, the temptation is to try to swat the Asian hornet . This is often an instinctive reaction which, in most cases, can also be quite useful. Not with Vespa velutina, however, which like many other similar species is capable of releasing a chemical substance that acts as an alarm signal for other members of the community.
If you manage to swat an Asian hornet , therefore, you could end up attracting the attention of its peers right there, where you are. Of course, you have to consider that if the specimen is isolated or too far from the rest of the group, no other Vespa velutina will arrive after you have crushed it. But is it worth the risk?
What to do in case of an Asian hornet sting?
Despite all the worries and after deciding not to swat an Asian hornet , it can still happen that you get stings from the insect. In general, the sting is quite painful but the venom should not cause serious problems other than inflammation of the area, unless there are allergic conditions. So, what is best to do in case of an Asian hornet sting ?
First of all, ice must be applied to the affected area, in order to reduce the pain and partly also the inflammation. If symptoms persist and, in general, for greater safety, it is always better to consult a doctor, who may recommend creams based on corticosteroids and oral antihistamines. However, if anaphylactic shock occurs, medical treatment should be sought immediately.
What if there is a nest of Asian hornets?
This is a slightly more complex matter. It’s one thing to deal with just one insect, it’s another thing to find a nest of Asian hornets . In this case it is important not to get close and not try to remove it yourself or crush an Asian hornet .
Some traps that exploit the taste of Vespa velutina for sugary foods can, if well prepared, also be effective. But these are not definitive methods. For those it is always better to turn to professionals, who will take care of removing the nest in a safe and long-lasting way.