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Japanese hornet sting side effects: What are Asian giant hornets, and are they really that dangerous? 5 questions answered


What are Asian giant hornets, and are they really that dangerous? 5 questions answered

Editor’s note: In late 2019 two Asian giant hornets – a species not known to occur in North America – were found in northwest Washington state, and a hornet colony was found and eliminated in British Columbia. On Oct. 24, 2020, entomologists found a nest of the hornets in Blaine, Washington, on the U.S.-Canadian border, which they destroyed two days later. Now scientists are trying to determine whether more of these large predatory insects are present in the region. Entomologist Akito Kawahara explains how these insects behave and why headlines referring to “murder hornets” are misleading.

1. How common are these hornets in Asia, and how much alarm do they cause?

The Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) is fairly common in many parts of Asia, where it is called the “giant hornet” or “giant sparrow wasp.” Growing up in Japan, I saw them relatively frequently in the mountains outside of Tokyo.

These insects are large and distinctive, with a characteristic orange head and black-banded orange body. Like any other social wasp, they will defend their nest if the colony is disrupted. But in most cases they will not do anything if people aren’t aggressive toward them.

Giant hornets have longer stingers than a honeybee’s, and hornets do not break off their stingers when they sting. Because hornet stingers can puncture thick clothing, people should avoid hornets and their nests whenever possible.

Giant hornets frequently are attracted to tree sap: I was stung by one when I was looking for butterflies on trees. The sting is painful, but the swelling and pain in most cases subside in a few days.

Just as with honeybee stings, an allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis, can occasionally put people in the hospital. In very rare cases, severe reactions can become fatal. But wasp and hornet stings killed fewer than 13 people a year in 2017 and 2018 in Japan – less than 0. 00001% of the national population – in a country where many people spend time in the woods.

If you are allergic to bee and wasp stings, it is best to avoid getting close to these insects and their nests, wear white clothing outdoors (they are attracted to dark colors) and avoid carrying open-top sweet drinks such as sodas in the woods.

Barricade and warning sign in front of giant hornet nest under a tree stump in Deba, Ritto City, Japan.
Greg Peterson/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

2. Are you surprised that the hornets have appeared in North America?

To some degree, yes. Most likely, one or two fertile queen hornets entered Canada via shipping packaging and created the colony that was discovered in 2019.

It’s easy for invasive species to travel this way. More than 19,000 cargo containers arrive daily at U.S. ports, and inspectors can only do random searches of shipping containers. One estimate suggests that just 2% of shipments are searched for evidence of invasive species. Many harmful organisms such as plant pests are intercepted, but some do get through.

It’s very unlikely that an entire colony of hornets was transferred to North America. Colonies of this hornet are often large, and the hornets would be visible and potentially aggressive if their nest were disturbed.

A genetic test indicated that one of the hornets found in Washington was not related to the Canadian colony.

Four wasp and hornet species that are often confused with the giant hornet. Upper left: European hornet (Vespa crabro). Upper right: common aerial yellowjacket (Dolichovespula arenaria). Lower left: European paper wasp (Polistes dominula). Lower right: baldfaced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata).
gailhampshire (upper left), Gilles Gonthier (upper right), Judy Gallagher (bottom images), all via Flickr, CC BY

3. What kind of conditions do these insects need to survive?

Giant hornets are fairly common in mountainous regions of Asia, but they’re not often seen in large cities or highly urbanized areas. They usually nest at the base of large trees and inside dead logs. The fact that they can’t tolerate extremely hot or cold temperatures makes it unlikely that they would spread to very hot or cold areas of North America.

An active colony was recently discovered in October 2020 in Blaine, Washington. It is possible that a few colonies of hornets may have survived there and could spread. However, it is unlikely that this would happen quickly, as foraging ranges of Vespa are only about 2,300 feet (700 meters) from their nest.

The key to prevent spread is surveillance. Anyone in the Pacific Northwest should be alert for giant hornets while they are outdoors this fall and next spring. They have been seen on our continent only in the Pacific Northwest, and the chance that they will appear in the northeastern or southeastern U.S. is very small. Entomologists received thousands of reports in 2020 from states outside the Pacific Northwest, but these all were misidentifications of other wasp species.

4. If more hornets are found, could they threaten honeybees and other pollinators?

Possibly. Some media posts have described destruction of honeybee nests by what could have been giant hornets, but honeybees are not these insects’ only prey. The hornets feed on different kinds of insects, and bring captured dead prey back to their hive to feed to their young.

In Japan, beekeepers surround their hives with wire screen nets to protect them from hornets. North American beekeepers can replicate these with wire netting from local hardware stores.

Many honeybees in Asia have the ability to protect their hive from intruding giant hornets by scorching them. They wait for a hornet to enter their nest, then mob it by surrounding it completely with their bodies. Each honeybee vibrates its wings, and the combined warming of honeybee bodies raises the temperature in the center of the cluster to 122 degrees F (50 degrees C), killing the hornet. Carbon dioxide levels in the nest also increase during this process, which contributes to the hornet’s death.

Japanese honeybees swarm a giant hornet, killing it with their body heat.

5. Are news stories about ‘murder hornets’ overreacting?

Yes, very much so. In parts of Japan, people consider these hornets beneficial because they remove pests, such as harmful caterpillars, from crops. The hornets’ bodies also contain nutrients, and have been used as ingredients in Japanese food and some strong liquors. Some people believe the hornets’ essence has medicinal benefits.

People who live in Vancouver, Seattle or nearby should certainly take note of what these insects look like. They are 2 inches long or more, with a 3-inch wingspan, and have distinctly orange heads and broad-striped orange and black-banded abdomens. That’s quite different from typical North American hornets, which have yellow or white bodies with black marks. Remember that the chance of seeing a giant hornet anywhere outside of the Pacific Northwest is very unlikely.

In the unlikely case that you see a giant hornet in Washington state, do not try to remove nests yourself or spray hornets with pesticides. Cutting down trees to prevent nesting sites is also unnecessary and can affect many other kinds of native wildlife, including beneficial insects that are needed for pollination and decomposition. Many native insects are declining globally, and it’s important to make sure these insects are not affected.

Instead, take a photo from a distance and report it to the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Photos are essential to verify that identifications are accurate.

Consider also uploading your images to iNaturalist, which is one of the primary sources for information on tracking wildlife. The images are archived and carry data, such as location, time of observance and the insect’s morphological features, that scientists can use for research.

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This is an updated version of an article originally published on May 11, 2020.

How ‘murder hornet’ stings compare to other venomous insects

How does it feel to be stung by an Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia? It hurts. A lot.

The sensation is like being “stabbed by a red-hot needle,” says Shunichi Makino, who studies wasps and bees at Japan’s Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute. Not only that, but the anguish lingers.

“Usually, the stung part severely swells and continues aching for a few days,” Makino explains, via email. And “although you could also have these symptoms when stung by the other hornet species, the intensity is said to be much more severe in Vespa mandarinia.”

Soichi Yamane got stung on the job. He was a wasp researcher—now retired—and he confirms Makino’s description: “The pain lasted two days, and my sleep was often disturbed by severe pain.”

Stories of agonizing stings are one reason why the recent discovery of two giant hornets in Washington State has created such a sensation. The insects are now trending on social media as “murder hornets.”

Though the insects have the potential to spread, to date they haven’t been found anywhere else in the United States. And scientists and other specialists are hard at work trying to locate and eliminate any hidden populations in the area of concern in northwest Washington.

The fascination with these insects and the danger they pose raises the question: What, if anything, is special about the sting of an Asian giant hornet? And just how toxic is its venom?

Asian giant hornets have long stingers capable of piercing the protective gear normally worn by beekeepers.

Photograph Courtesy Washington State Department of Agriculture

Please be respectful of copyright. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Behind the pain

The toxicity of venom from the Asian giant hornet, and from a handful of its close relatives, is considerable. It’s greater than the toxicity of most other stinging insects, says Justin Schmidt, who has studied the hornets.

An entomologist at the University of Arizona’s Southwestern Biological Institute, Schmidt is an expert in venom. He developed a well-known scale of sting painfulness, known as the Schmidt pain index.

In a 1986 paper co-authored by Schmidt, Yamane, and others, the researchers took venom from various species of giant hornet and injected it into lab mice, a standard experiment at the time for testing a substance’s toxicology.

Watch entomologist Justin Schmidt risk getting stung by the venomous insects he is studying.

Researchers determine toxicity using a measure called the LD50. Also known as the median lethal dose, it’s the quantity necessary to kill 50 percent of test subjects, usually small animals like mice. In their 1980s research, the scientists found that giant hornet venom has an LD50 of 4.1 milligrams per kilogram—a level similar to other closely related hornets. The less venom required for a lethal dose, the more dangerous the substance.

For comparison’s sake, the LD50 of honeybee venom is 2.8 mg/kg. And the world’s most toxic insect venom belongs to the Maricopa harvester ant, with an LD50 value of about 0.1 mg/kg in mice.

Though honeybees have venom that’s more toxic than giant hornets, the bees can sting only once. Giant hornets can sting repeatedly, and are capable of delivering about 10 times more venom. The scientists determined that the venom in one giant hornet would be capable of killing about 10 mice—and that a small colony could kill a 150-pound animal.

It makes sense that the species carries a lot of venom, as it is the world’s largest hornet at more than 1.5 inches long. But even they are not the most militant in defending their nests: Yellow hornets (Vespa simillima) native to Japan may actually be more dangerous given their aggressive behavior yet smaller size, says Seiki Yamane, Soichi’s brother, who also studies wasps, at Kagoshima University Museum.

‘Nasty cocktail’

What makes the sting of the Asian giant hornet so painful? Schmidt says that acetylcholine and histamine within the venom cause pain and swelling, assisted by chemicals called kinins that dilate blood vessels. A substance called mastoparan, not found in bee venom, and phospholipase synergistically act to degrade immune cells and spur widespread inflammation. In combination with kinins, these chemicals can break down blood and muscle cells, Schmidt says.

This destruction leads to the release of large molecules like hemoglobin, which the kidney must filter out. But several of the chemicals within the venom are toxic to the kidneys as well—one reason why giant hornet attacks can lead to renal failure, Schmidt says. The species also has a unique neurotoxin that can block nerve impulses.

“It’s a nasty cocktail of chemicals designed so that you don’t mess with these guys again,” Schmidt says.

Keeping safe

For the venom to reach life-threatening levels, a person likely would have to be stung by a couple hundred giant hornets, Schmidt says, compared with about a thousand honeybees.

In Japan, giant hornets cause between 30 to 50 deaths per year, but most of the fatalities are due to allergic anaphylactic reactions rather than acute toxicity, Schmidt says.

It’s important to remember, however, that giant hornets, like other wasps, generally will not attack unless bothered. Especially when the insects are out foraging, they are likely to ignore humans; most deaths from giant hornets’ stings occur because people seriously disturb the insects’ nests.

Schmidt observes that giant hornets do give a warning before they sting: They fly back and forth snapping their mandibles. “That is intimidating, that gets your attention,” Schmidt says. “It’s the only species that does that.”

Schmidt himself has never been stung by an Asian giant hornet, even though he began working with them in 1980. His Japanese colleagues advised Schmidt to put on a thick sweatshirt under his bee suit to thwart the insects’ long stingers. That worked—though Schmidt does sometimes regret it.

“In hindsight,” he says, “I kind of wish I had been stung because that would be a pertinent data point.”

This is What Happens When a Murder Hornet Stings You

Asian giant hornets, the largest wasps in the world, were first confirmed to be in the United States in December, when hornets were sighted and a dead hornet found in the border city of Blaine, Washington, several months after a nest was destroyed across the Strait of Georgia on Vancouver Island in Canada.

In April, the Washington State Department of Agriculture and Washington State University entomologists urged beekeepers and the wider public to report sightings of the two-inch hornet species, as part of a wider effort to track, study and halt the spread of the invasive species.

“It’s a shockingly large hornet,” WSU Extension entomologist Todd Murray said in a statement released by the university. “We need to teach people how to recognize and identify this hornet while populations are small, so that we can eradicate it while we still have a chance.”

Asian hornets, a separate and smaller species than the Asian giant hornet recently found in the United States, are a damaging invasive species in France, where they prey on honey bees.

While primarily a danger to bee populations and honey production—one hornet can kill up to 40 bees per minute with its powerful bite, while a swarm of hornets can wipe out a honey bee colony entirely in a few hours—the Asian giant hornet also poses a danger to humans, which has earned it the nickname “murder hornet.”

When it comes to the sting of a murder hornet, few people have as much direct experiential data as YouTube personality Nathaniel “Coyote” Peterson, who submits himself to painful insect bites and stings on his channel Brave Wilderness.

In 2018, Peterson allowed himself to be stung by a Japanese giant hornet, which is the largest subspecies of the Asian giant hornet.

Stung under controlled conditions, with an epinephrine injector on hand in case his body responded by going into anaphylactic shock, Peterson used entomologist forceps to press the hornet against his forearm, until it injected him with venom from its quarter-inch long stinger. Though doubled over in pain, Peterson did his best to describe the sensation of getting stung by the so-called murder hornet.

After an initial wave of dizziness, the first sensation, which Peterson gasps out shortly after the Asian giant hornet stung his forearm is “Searing pain. Absolute searing pain.”

“My hand is completely seized up and locked in place,” Peterson said, about 45 seconds after the initial sting. Twenty minutes later and the swelling had expanded considerably, while Peterson described the subsequent hours as “some of the most painful I have ever faced.”

In a follow-up video he described almost 36 hours of pain, which transitioned from searing to itching overnight, even after treating with ice packs and antihistamines.

“It’s like a fully-plumped hot dog,” Peterson said, about twelve hours after allowing the Japanese giant hornet to sting him, while visiting Japan. “The swelling is all the way down into my elbow and all the way up through my wrist, and I think if you stick me with a fork right now, it would explode.”

The venom in the sting of the Asian giant hornet is both neurotoxic and necrotic, meaning it attacks the nervous system and destroys tissue. Peterson likened the bite to other painful insect stings he’s endured, including the tarantula hawk (a type of spider wasp), cow killer wasp, giant desert centipede and bullet ant of Central America. Ultimately, Peterson concluded that the “excruciating” sting of the Asian giant hornet was the second-most painful in the world—next to the executioner wasp of Central and South America.

Entomologists have also developed insect sting pain indexes, which can be useful in evaluating the consequences of an Asian giant hornet sting. In the Schmidt sting pain index and others, wasp, bee and ant stings are evaluated on a one through four scale, with Pain Level 4 reserved by its creator, entomologist Justin O. Schmidt, for the bullet ant, tarantula hawk and warrior wasp. Peterson argued that the Asian giant hornet sting was was worthy of a Level 4 rating.

“It feels like someone has shoved a red-hot poker into your arm and does not remove it for close to six hours,” he said.

The sting of the Asian giant hornet can be fatal, but primarily to those who are allergic to its venom. However, even non-allergic victims can be killed by the hornets if they are swarmed or receive multiple stings. In Japan, between 12 and 26 people are killed annually by all bees, wasps and hornets, including the Japanese giant.

In 2013, unusually dry and warm weather in China’s Shaanxi province created ideal conditions for a different subspecies of the Asian giant hornet, resulting in more than 1,600 stings and 41 deaths.

But more than a danger to humans, the Asian giant hornet represents a major threat to the European honey bees that make up domestic honey production. The hornets, believed to have arrived in the United States on cargo ships, could imperil honey farms in the Pacific Northwest, should the species manage to establish a more permanent foothold on the continent. It’s currently unknown whether there are colonies or nests in the U.S., or just isolated individuals.

Ultimately, Peterson doesn’t believe the hornets represent a substantial threat to people living in the United States, describing the “murder hornet” appellation as a media creation meant to “evoke fear from the public.”

“Murder hornets are not going to invade America,” Peterson said, confident that mitigation efforts will ensure the eradication of the invading hornets.

50 Japanese Giant Hornet Facts (Complete Guide) Plus Photos, Videos

Looking to learn more about Japanese giant hornets? You’re in the right place! These giants are fearsome but fascinating.

50 Japanese Giant Hornet Facts

They’re twice the size of normal hornets. Their stings can kill you through necrosis and major organ failure.

They feed their children by ripping the heads off other insects and leaving the decapitated, dismembered bodies behind them like a gruesome trail of trophies.

Welcome to the world of Japanese giant hornets!

As you might have guessed, they’re some of the deadliest insects on the planet. They’re also some of the most interesting. They’re deadly killers, but they live in cooperative hives.

Their venom can be fatal, but it’s also used to give flavor to drinks and side dishes.

So what are Japanese hornets really like? What’s myth and what’s fact?

If you get goosebumps easily, this isn’t the article for you. If you’re ready to test your squeamishness with Japanese hornet facts, however, read on.

1. What does a Japanese hornet look like?

The Japanese hornet is easily identified with the naked eye. Not only is it larger than other hornets, but it has a distinctive black, brown, yellow and orange coloring.

It has five eyes in total: three small “ocelli eyes” at the top of the head and two large “compound eyes” on either side.

Its thorax is brown, and its abdomen has brown and yellow bands that extend down to its stinger. Its wings are usually dark and dramatic with a wide length and muted colors.

Here you can see the Japanese giant hornet’s five eyes 👀👀👁

As for its weapons, the Japanese hornet has two characteristics that strike fear into the hearts of lesser creatures:

  • The first is the stinger, a large and lethal tool that’s used to defend the hive.
  • The other is a set of long, strong mandibles that emerge from the mouth and can literally rip their prey apart.

2. How big is a Japanese hornet? Japanese hornet size

The Japanese hornet is one of the largest hornet species in the world. Adults have a body length of 3 – 4 centimeters!

This might not seem like a lot, but when you realize that they’re double, triple and even quadruple the size of the bees that freak you out at family picnics, they’ll definitely send a shiver down your spine.

3. What is the biggest hornet in the world?

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest hornet is the Asian giant hornet. They can grow up to 5.5 centimetres with a wingspan of 7.6 centimetres.

Watch on YouTube

If you’re curious, the Japanese hornet is a sub-species of the Asian giant hornet.

They’re just a little bit smaller than their cousins, and they’re native to Japan rather than having the broader range of China, Taiwan, Nepa, and Mongolia.

4. How much does a Japanese hornet weigh?

Workers and drones usually weigh about 0.9 grams. The queens are much larger, but there isn’t a lot of data on it. Just know that they’re big!

5. What is the Japanese hornet’s wingspan?

The wingspan of the Japanese hornet is 5 – 6 centimeters. It’s bigger than their total body length, and it allows them to fly at high speeds for miles at a time.

6. How fast can Japanese hornets fly?

You might think that such large hornets would be slowed down by their size, but Japanese hornets are capable of reaching terrifying speeds.

They can fly as fast as 25 miles per hour!

7. Is the Japanese hornet a bee or a wasp?

The Japanese hornet is classified as a wasp. All hornets are wasps; however, not all wasps are hornets.

It’s like how all men are humans, but not all humans are men.

8. What’s the difference between a bee, a wasp, and a hornet?

While they might seem the same when you’re yelling and running away from them, there are actually quite a few differences between bees, wasps, and hornets.

  1. For starters, their bodies have different shapes and appearances. Bees are fuzzy; wasps and hornets have fine hairs, but they’re not covered in a solid layer of them. Bees also have bristles on their forearms that aren’t found in similar species.
  2. Their stingers are different as well. Bees are the ones that leave their stingers behind after an attack, and they usually die from the loss afterward. Wasps and hornets don’t suffer this fate and can sting many times before they’re driven off.
  3. Finally, they have separate purposes in the wild. Bees are pollinators of flowers while wasps and hornets kill smaller insects. They’re all vital to the stability of their ecosystems, but they play different roles.

9. Do males and females both have stingers?

Nope! A fun fact about wasps is that only females are born with stingers; it’s a part of insect anatomy called the ovipositor, and it’s related to egg-laying. Only females have them.

Some males boast defensive spikes on their lower abdomens that can be mistaken for stingers, but they aren’t venomous, so they don’t really count.

10. Are Japanese hornets aggressive?

If you ever stumble across a nest of Japanese hornets while hiking in Mount Fuji, turn around and find another trail.

They’re extremely aggressive, and they won’t appreciate a large and lumbering human being in their space.

It isn’t that they’re malicious. They’re just highly territorial, so they might decide that you pose a danger to them even if you’re just walking through the woods.

They like to burrow underground, so you might not realize that you’ve disturbed a nest until you hear the angry buzzing.

Another hazard is that they move in numbers, so if you see one Japanese hornet, there are probably others nearby.

They often send one worker bee to scout an area before the rest join them.

11. Can a Japanese hornet kill you?

Yes. While it’s hard to pin down the exact number of deaths caused by the Japanese hornet, officials say that 20 – 40 people are killed by giant hornets every year, including the Japanese species.

One particularly terrible year saw 44 deaths and 1,675 injuries from giant hornets.

Most deaths are from anaphylactic shock. People are allergic, and their bodies can’t handle the sting.

That said, even healthy individuals can fall victim to Japanese hornets because of their uniquely deadly venom.

It contains a mandaratoxin that can eat through human tissue and destroy red blood cells, so even victims who survive a swarm might wind up struggling with kidney problems.

It isn’t uncommon for victims to need dialysis to remove all of the toxins from their kidneys.

12. How many stings does it take for a Japanese hornet to kill you?

The good news is that a single sting is rarely fatal. It hurts, but it shouldn’t cause serious problems for you as long as you’re not allergic.

The bad news is that Japanese hornets usually travel in swarms. Even worse, they know how to work together as a unit to debilitate their target.

In 2017, a woman in a wheelchair was killed by Japanese hornets that swarmed her and stung her more than 150 times in 50 minutes.

Firefighters were present at the scene, but they simply couldn’t break through the swarm to rescue her.

The moral of the story: Don’t underestimate Japanese hornets. They’re deadly creatures, so don’t walk around with the false confidence that you’ll be fine even if you get stung.

13. Are Japanese hornets deadly?

Yes. Humans aren’t the only ones affected by Japanese hornets.

They kill other insects to feed their young, and they’ll attack almost anything that disturbs their territory.

They’re a plague to honeybees in particular, but they prey on all kinds of beetles, worms, mantises and smaller wasp species.

14. Do Japanese hornets kill honeybees? Why?

Japanese hornets prey extensively on honeybees. They kill and dismember them to bring them back to their hive and feed their young.

They’ll also snatch honeybee larvae to feed their own larvae; they aren’t bothered by a little cannibalism.

Their method of execution is pretty brutal. They’ll send ahead a scout to figure out where the honeybees are, and that scout will leave pheromone markers around the hive to attract the rest of her buddies.

Watch on YouTube

When everyone arrives at the scene, a massacre occurs. A single Japanese hornet can kill 40 honeybees per minute; a swarm of 30 Japanese hornets can take down a colony of 30,000 in less than four hours.

Again: Don’t underestimate Japanese hornets.

15. Can honeybees protect themselves from Japanese hornets?

European honeybees are sitting ducks to Japanese hornets.

They aren’t native to the environment and haven’t adapted to defend themselves from local predators, so when the Japanese hornets come scouting, they’re slaughtered in large numbers.

Japanese honeybees, on the other hand, know all of the tricks of Japanese hornets, and they’ve developed a way to fend them off.

When a scout comes snooping around their hive, they’ll sit quietly like a Trojan horse while the scout enters the hive through a narrow opening. Then, when they have her trapped, they’ll surround her in large numbers and form a “bee ball.”

How a Bee Ball Works: Honey bees won’t sting the Japanese hornets. Their stingers aren’t strong enough to pierce the thick exoskeletons of hornets. Instead, they’ll flap their wings and build up heat with their kinetic energy until the ball becomes an oven that slowly roasts the hornet alive.

Temperatures can reach up to 117°F, so the honeybees aren’t messing around. The temperature is so precise!

According to National Geographic, Japanese honeybees can withstand temperatures of 118°F, and the Japanese giant hornet can withstand temperatures of 115°F. Not much room for error, only a 2°F difference!

Watch on YouTube

You’d never know from innocent pictures of honeybees that they’re actually vicious killers that can burn their enemies alive. However, this just goes to show that there are entire wars happening in nature that we can’t see!

16. Is a Japanese hornet sting dangerous?

Yes. The sting itself is painful but survivable; however, the venom that’s ejected from the sting can cause all kinds of nasty side effects. Its median lethal dose is rated 4.0 mg/kg.

17. What does a Japanese hornet sting feel like?

It hurts! A lot. Technically, the sting of the Japanese hornet isn’t registered on the Schmidt sting pain index. However, evidence suggests that it can be downright agonizing.

YouTuber Coyote Peterson is revisiting the sting pain index on his channel, Brave Wilderness. He says that the Japanese giant hornet should be at the top of the list.

One Japanese entomologist famously said that the pain was like “driving a nail into [his] leg.”

Others have described it as a searing, burning feeling that doesn’t quit. Since the venom can take a long time to break down in the body, the pain can linger far beyond the pinch of the original sting.

This is a great video, I highly recommend that you watch it. This guy does all the stuff we don’t want to, and we love him for it!

Watch on YouTube

It was mentioned in the video, but I feel I must insist that you do not replicate this! Giant hornets are very dangerous.

The inflammation can also cause pain and stiffness because of the fluid building up beneath the skin. Like any welt, it can hurt to touch.

18. What does a Japanese hornet sting look like?

The sting of a Japanese hornet can leave behind a startling wound.

In the initial stages, your skin will swell until the puncture site resembles a large goose egg. If you’ve been stung in the arm or leg, your limb might also become too stiff to freely move.

Here’s the aftermath of the video in the previous point:

Watch on YouTube

Over time, especially if you haven’t sought medical treatment, the wound can get bigger.

Since the venom of the sting breaks down human tissue, the puncture can widen until it forms a visible black hole. If you’ve been stung multiple times, you could have black holes peppering your skin like a disease.

In the most serious cases, the wound can become necrotic. This is when the blackness spreads because the tissue completely dies. Necrosis can lead to organ failure and death.

19. How can I avoid getting stung by a Japanese hornet?

Let’s say that you’re relaxing in the hot springs when you hear that tell-tale buzzing. The first step is: don’t panic. Japanese hornets will respond aggressively to signs of danger, including running, yelling and flapping your arms around.

If a Japanese hornet starts to invade your space, the best thing to do is to calmly walk away. Don’t move too quickly, and try not to swat at it. If it lands on your clothes, leave it alone and wait for it to move away on its own.

Do not run away under any circumstances. Swarms of Japanese hornets have been known to chase their victims for miles, and they can reach flying speeds of 25 miles per hour. You’ll tire before they do.

According to one victim, “The more you run, the more they want to chase you.”

20. What if I’m stung by a Japanese hornet? How to treat a Japanese hornet sting

It can be scary and painful to receive a sting from a Japanese hornet. However, it’s important to remember that a single sting isn’t enough to kill you.

Conventional wisdom says that you don’t even need to seek medical attention unless you’ve been stung 10 times or more.

If you do get stung, here are the steps to take to treat it:

  1. Check to see if the stinger is lodged in your skin. This is a rare occurrence since Japanese hornets don’t usually lose their stingers after an attack, but it can happen if you were stung at an awkward angle or if the hornet had been injured before acting defensively.
  2. Clean the area with soap and water. This won’t do anything about the venom, but it might prevent you from developing irritations or infections from a dirty puncture wound.
  3. Apply an ice pack. You can also use a cold compress, but that might not be strong enough to soothe the extreme swelling of a Japanese hornet bite. They’re known for causing major lumps and bumps. You’ll probably need a full ice pack to keep the size down.
  4. Take an aspirin. You might be tempted to reach for a painkiller right away, but you should take care of the necessities of sanitation and swelling before you indulge in an aspirin.
  5. Watch yourself for side effects. If the sting doesn’t get better over time, you might be having an adverse reaction to the venom. Some people are more sensitive to it than others. Be on the lookout for swelling that refuses to go down or skin that starts to turn black.

Important note: Regardless of what is commonly acceptable, always see a doctor if there is any risk. The sting isn’t the only thing to be worried about, you could also be battling an infection or anaphylactic shock. This stuff is no joke, especially when it’s happening on top of the extreme pain of a Japanese hornet sting.

21. Is there anything that I shouldn’t do if I’m stung by a Japanese hornet?

Don’t try to suck the venom out! It takes only seconds for it to spread beyond your reach, so you’ll be performing a painful, pointless act that might actually hurt you in the long run.

The human mouth has a lot of germs. Getting saliva in an open wound is just asking for trouble.

Aside from that, you might also want to avoid using antihistamines and ointments until you’re positive that you aren’t having an adverse reaction to the sting.

Allergy creams can mask symptoms that you should be paying attention to during your recovery. This is more of a precaution than anything, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if you’ve been stung multiple times.

22. Can you eat Japanese hornets? What do they taste like?

Despite the dangers that they present, Japanese hornets are routinely caught and cooked in the rural mountain regions of Japan.

The locals prepare them in several ways:

    • Larvae Rice Dish: One dish is called hachinoko or “bee children. ” It consists of cooked larvae and is often served with rice. People describe it as having a rich, earthy taste with the consistency of pulp.
    • Drowned Bee Beer: Another way to enjoy hornets is to drown them in a special type of beer known as shochu. It’s distilled with rice, barley or sweet potato, and the hornets are drowned in large barrels of it so that they’ll release their venom into the alcohol as they die. The barrels are usually sealed off for a number of years until the beer is ready to be consumed.
    • Snacks: Some people bake, boil or fry whole hornets and eat them as snacks. They’re crunchy treats that are said to taste like prawns.

23. How can people eat Japanese hornets when they are venomous?

Cooking venom denatures (breaks down) it, making it safe to consume.

Really though, this is a question of poison vs venom. Venom needs to be injected into the bloodstream to be effective, whereas poison is ingested, inhaled, or absorbed.

Anyway… unless you have a bad mouth or stomach ulcer (sore or cut in the stomach lining), then you shouldn’t have any problem consuming venomous hornets.

As mentioned, cooking also changes the venom, so you should be relatively safe. I don’t endorse eating potentially dangerous things, but I do find it fascinating.

For the record, Japanese hornets aren’t the only venomous bugs that make it into people’s stomachs. For example, wasps are served on skewers in China, and ants are roasted as a festival treat during Colombian holidays.

24. Do Japanese hornets die after they sting?

No. This is one of the reasons why they’re so dangerous; they’re tough, tenacious creatures that can keep stinging their prey over and over until the prey stops moving.

Unlike bees, their stingers won’t fall out.

25. How long is the Japanese hornet’s stinger?

The stinger of the Japanese hornet is between 5 – 6 millimetres long. This is about a quarter of an inch.

Measure it with a ruler if you want to throw up.

26. Do Japanese hornets bite?

Japanese hornets don’t actually bite, but they have powerful mandibles extending from their jaws that they use to rip apart other insects.

You don’t have to worry about them biting you, however. Their mandibles are only used as a weapon against their prey.

27. Do Japanese hornets spit acid?

Technically, yes. Japanese hornets generate a vespa amino acid mixture (VAAM) that they spit up as larvae.

But this mixture won’t harm humans and isn’t what most people mean if they ask if a Japanese hornet can spit acid at you, so the answer is mostly “no.”

There’s no reason to fear VAAM. Some athletes are actually consuming VAAM in energy drinks to give them a competitive edge on the field; they call it hornet juice, and since it’s completely natural, it isn’t banned by athletic organizations.

Yay, who needs steroids?! Get me some hornet barf! 😒

28. Are Japanese hornets poisonous? Or venomous?

We discussed this a bit earlier, but here’s a bit more.

There’s an important distinction between “poisonous” and “venomous.” Thankfully, it’s easy to remember:

  • Venomous creatures are ones that have to bite or sting you to deliver their toxins. They have barbs, fangs, mandibles or stingers for this purpose.
  • Poisonous creatures are ones that have toxins embedded in their skins or scales. They might not have other offensive or defensive characteristics at all; they can poison you if you touch or eat them.

To put it another way, venomous creatures have to actively attack you to make you sick. Poisonous creatures have a more passive toxicity where you’ll only get sick if you touch or eat them. Again, more on that here.

Japanese hornets are venomous. They have stingers, and they deploy their venom through them.

29. Can Japanese hornet venom melt skin?

No. People love to exaggerate the effects of Japanese hornet venom by describing it as “flesh-eating” or “skin-melting,” but that’s sensational rather than factual.

That said, the venom of the Japanese hornet does contain a toxin called cytolytic peptide, and it can cause your skin to “self-digest” or attack its own cells. This is how small stings can turn into bigger, blacker wounds. It’s an act of necrosis.

Fortunately, necrosis only happens in the most serious of cases, so you don’t have to worry about the Japanese hornet melting the flesh off your bones.

30. What’s the difference between the Asian giant hornet and the Japanese giant hornet?

The Japanese giant hornet is a sub-species of the Asian giant hornet.

They’re a bit smaller, and they’re native to Japan instead of being spread around the entire continent, but the differences are otherwise minimal. They look, behave, attack and reproduce the same way.

31. How long do Japanese hornets live?

Like many bee and wasp species, Japanese hornets have short, eventful lives. They’re born in the spring and die in the fall or winter depending on their societal role.

  • Males die the fastest. They’ve fulfilled their purpose as soon as they mate in the early fall, so they only survive for a few months in total.
  • Female workers last a bit longer since they stick around to care for the queen and hive, but they don’t last longer than a couple of seasons, either. They die in late fall or early winter.
  • Queens survive the longest. They hibernate in the winter after being fertilized, and they reawaken in the spring to lay the eggs, raise the babies and oversee a new generation of queens and workers. They’ll die before their second winter after living about a year in total.

32. Do Japanese hornets take care of their young?

Yes. Everyone works together to feed, shelter, protect and raise their young. They just have different roles in the reproductive cycle.

For example, the queen lays the eggs while the workers go out to kill other insects and bring them back as food for the larvae.

33. How long does it take for Japanese hornets to grow up?

Like everything in their life cycle, it happens fast. Japanese hornets mature from squirming larvae to able-bodied adults in about 40 days.


34. How many eggs are laid by queen Japanese hornets?

A lot! It’s impossible to give an exact number since it’s in the thousands, but it’s estimated that Japanese hornet queens can lay around 100 eggs per day, and this happens over and over again as she builds a colony.

As the little larvae grow, they build a cap over their home in the hive. This hardens and protects them as they grow into full-sized hornets.


35. What eats a Japanese hornet? Predators and Threats

Japanese hornets are apex predators in the insect world. They’re even dominant over other wasp species.

In one study by entomologists, they won 56 out of 57 fights that were arranged between species, so they had a success rate of 98.3%. No one messes with these bugs.

36. Is the Japanese hornet endangered?

No. While they haven’t been officially evaluated by any conservation groups, Japanese hornets are considered a common species that isn’t at risk for extinction.

However, this might change in the next few decades as deforestation becomes a bigger and bigger problem in Japan. More research will be needed.

37. What do Japanese hornets eat?

Japanese hornets can’t consume solid food. They live off the vespa amino acid mixture (VAAM) that’s secreted by their larvae.

They do catch, kill and chew insects, but it’s only for the purpose of creating a gum-like paste that they can feed to the larvae.

In return, the larvae will produce VAAM to feed the adult hornets right back. It’s a kind of natural feedback loop where every member of the nest is dependent on the other.

Before their babies are born, they live off tree sap and occasionally honey from honeybee combs.

38. How do Japanese hornets kill?

It’s quite gruesome. When they catch an unsuspecting bee or beetle, Japanese hornets use the mandibles in their jaws to crush their victims and rip them apart.

They do this because they only want certain parts of the body to take back to their young; they aren’t interested in heads, arms, legs or wings. They’ll leave those parts behind in favor of the nutrient-rich thoraxes and abdomens.

Another way to describe it: Japanese hornets rip the heads off their victims and leave those heads behind after they’re done dismantling the rest of their bodies. Yikes!

39. What is the Japanese hornets Latin name?

The scientific name of the Japanese hornet is vespa mandarinia japonica. It literally translates to “Asian wasp” and “Japan.”

40. What other names does the Japanese hornet have?

The Japanese hornet is known by a few names. Most of them are self-explanatory like “giant hornet” and “Japanese giant hornet,” but there are a few creative ones as well.

For example, in their native homeland, the Japanese call them osuzumebachi or “great sparrow bee.” The Chinese know them as the “tiger head bee.” Koreans call them the “general officer bee” after their military.

41. Are Japanese hornets loud?

While not overly loud, Japanese hornets make that distinctive buzzing noise that will have you wildly looking around in search of the bee.

They can also click their mandibles together as a warning against trespassers in their territory, but if you’re close enough to hear that, you have much more pressing problems than their volume level.

42. Do Japanese hornets carry disease?

Japanese hornets have a few parasites, including stylopidae, a microscopic species that spend their entire lives inside the abdomens of wasps.

None of these parasites are toxic to humans, however. Japanese hornets won’t give you any diseases.

43. Are Japanese hornets in the United States?

Good news! Currently, there are no documented cases of Japanese hornets living in the United States.

The rumors spread every now and then because there are a couple of similar-looking wasp species in the east and the south, but these aren’t actually vespa mandarinia japonica.

Update, April 2020: there are, however, documented cases of the vespa mandarina, or Asian giant hornet, in the United States. The Japanese hornet is a subspecies of the Asian giant hornet. This has caused some confusion with my readers :). Though they are very similar, Asian giant hornets and Japanese giant hornets are not considered to be the same thing (as covered in point #30).

44. Where does the Japanese hornet live?

As their name suggests, Japanese hornets are native to Japan.

They’ve been spotted a few places in Europe, including Great Britain’s Channel Islands, but their numbers are quite low when they’re away from home. They don’t migrate and are only transported overseas by humans.

45. What is the habitat of the Japanese hornet?

Japanese hornets live in the mountains and lowlands of Japan. They like woods, hills, forests, and thickets.

46. Do Japanese hornets live in the ground?

Yes. Unlike other bees and hornets that live in trees, Japanese hornets prefer subterranean environments. You might find them atop the occasional gazebo, but in an optimal environment, they’ll always go underground.

They build their nests and combs at depths of 6 – 60 cm (2-23 in), and they often live among things like rotted pine roots. They’ve even been known to take over the burrows of rodents, snakes and other small, ground-dwelling species.

47. What’s the social structure of Japanese hornets?

Japanese hornets have a busy and complex social structure. They’re considered eusocial creatures because they divide themselves into castes that include multiple generations living together with cooperative child-rearing and intelligent divisions of labor. Here’s how it breaks down:

  1. Queens: The most important members are the queens. They’re the only ones who can lay eggs, and hive life revolves around them. Japanese hornets even have “royal courts” where workers will lick and bite the queen to transmit pheromones.
  2. Workers and Scouts: The next caste consists of workers and scouts. They’re unfertilized females who do the heavy lifting for the hive.
  3. Drones: Males are called drones. Their only real purpose is to mate, and they die as soon as they’ve accomplished it.

48. Do Japanese hornets hibernate?

The queens do. Workers and drones will die in the fall, but fertilized queens will go into hibernation over the winter and emerge in the spring to start laying their eggs.

Once the new generation is born, raised and fertilized, the queens will die before their second winter.

49. Where do Japanese hornets go in the winter?

Japanese hornets hibernate in their underground nests or burrows. Once the queen awakens in the spring, she’ll start building combs and laying eggs in them.

Fun fact: This is the only manual labor that the queen will ever perform.

50. Where can I see the Japanese hornet?

You’ll need to travel to Japan if you want to observe the Japanese hornet or try some Japanese hornet beer. They aren’t really bred anywhere else; you won’t even find them in zoos.

Of course, you might want to ask yourself why you want an intimate look at some of the deadliest insects on the planet. Aren’t pictures enough?!

Buzzworthy Beasts

Did you make it all of the way to the end of these Japanese hornet facts? Congratulations! You have a tougher stomach than most. Lots of people shudder and click the back button as soon as they see the compound eyes. It looks like you’re made of stronger stuff!

What was your favorite fact? Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments!

This is what getting stung by a ‘murder hornet’ looks and feels like

By now, you’ve likely heard of the terrifying-sounding “murder hornets” that have recently made their way to the U.S.

For most of us, there are extremely high hopes that we’ll never have a run-in with one, as the insect, that originates in Japan, is not only scary looking, but it kills about 30 people each year there.

On Brave Wilderness’ “Breaking Trail” YouTube show, the host, Coyote Peterson, follows adventure in a variety of wildlife areas.

RELATED: “Murder Hornets” are in US; Can the insects possibly migrate to San Antonio or South Texas?

In one episode, Peterson travels to one of the most remote stretches of Japan in search of the Japanese giant hornet, also known as the “murder hornet,” which, he says injects venom in such a high dosage that it can destroy tissue and attack the nervous system.


“No matter how you break it down, this sting is incredibly dangerous,” Peterson said.

Though one single sting is not likely to be fatal, the more than 30 people stung each year in Japan die from taking multiple stings or anaphylactic shock, Peterson said.

Scroll down to watch the video.

So what does Peterson do? He travels across the area for days in search of the hornet until he finally finds one on his last day. His intent? To let the hornet sting him.

“I have a feeling that the sting is going to be intense,” Peterson said. “I’ve also heard the venom is going to cook a hole in my arm.”

He goes on to say he’s not looking forward to it, but the situation will just depend on how his body reacts to it.

So he gets to it.

We should mention, Peterson had an epinephrine pen, also known as an EpiPen, on hand in the event he reacted with anaphylactic shock.

Within seconds of the sting, Peterson’s arm begins to swell where he took the hit, and it’s immediately clear that he is in pain, as he rolls and cries out on the ground.


“When the stinger went into my arm, I had a wave come over me and I got super dizzy,” he said. “(I got a) wave of dizziness really quick — absolute searing pain. The pain was immediately searing.”

His hand also completely seized up. And 24 hours later, his arm had swollen to nearly double its normal size.

Peterson, who takes stings from insects rumored to be some of the most painful in the world, described the pain as being worse than anything he’d experienced.

Click or tap here to watch the video on YouTube.

Like a ‘red hot fire poker’: How it might feel to be stung by a ‘murder hornet’

An American wildlife educator stung by a Japanese giant hornet — a subspecies of the Asian giant hornet — said the sting feels like a “red hot fire poker” being shoved into the skin with the pain lasting for hours.

Coyote Peterson, who was stung by a giant hornet in Japan, in October 2018, told CTVNews.ca that he felt the pain instantly.

“It’s a neurotoxic venom that the giant hornet contains and that attacks your nervous system immediately,” Peterson said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “It feels like a red hot fire poker that’s been sitting in the embers and it’s been shoved into your arm, and you can’t remove it and that pain doesn’t just hit you for a couple of seconds and go away, it actually escalates.”

Peterson compared the dizziness he felt after being stung by a giant hornet to what he imagines a punch from professional boxer Mike Tyson would feel like.

“You’re going to see stars and essentially blackout for the most part, and that’s what happened. I stumbled backwards, I could barely even say words at that point. It was immediate searing pain,” Peterson said.

Peterson documented the experience in a video posted to his YouTube channel “Brave Wilderness” on Nov. 23, 2018.

Peterson says he wanted to be stung by the giant hornet “to leave no sting untested.”

Peterson has been working his way through the Schmidt Sting Pain Index — a scale rating of the relative pain caused by different insect stings, created by entomologist Justin Schmidt.

In a move to create his own pain index via YouTube, Peterson also seeks out stings from insects Schmidt did not test — including the Asian giant hornet.

“On a scale of one to four, which is how insect stings are ranked, I’d say the giant hornet is a four for sure. It is at the top tier of insect stings, but it is not more damaging than the sting of an executioner wasp and that all has to do with the proteins and peptides that exist within the venom,” Peterson said.

The invasive Asian giant hornets — also known as “murder hornets” — have been previously spotted in British Columbia and most recently in the U.S. in Washington state.

While the Asian giant hornet is known for killing honeybees, experts say the hornets can kill humans if stung multiple times.

But Peterson said that did not deter him.

“I wasn’t necessarily scared… But once you actually have that insect in the forceps you’re holding and you’re getting ready to put it to your arm yes, it’s definitely pretty nerve wracking,” Peterson said.

“I was in pretty much unbearable pain for somewhere between six and eight hours…. I almost couldn’t sit still it was so painful. The next day, my arm had swollen to nearly twice its normal size as well as my hand. That pain was still there but it was a residual pain.”

Peterson said the pain and swelling lasted for approximately 36 hours. He took Benadryl for the swelling but said it did not help. He added that his arm was itchy for several days after being stung, which he says is common with insect bites.

“There’s definitely no anti-venom or anything like that you could take for a sting. You pretty much just have to endure through the pain,” Peterson said.

Peterson says he has a “resilience towards insect venom” but had an epinephrine pen on hand and a team of entomologists behind the camera in case something went wrong. Peterson said if someone has an allergic reaction to the hornet’s venom, it would likely kill them.

“If anyone else would ever be stung by something like this, our recommendation is that you always seek medical attention, especially if you feel like your body is having an obscure reaction to the experience that you’re going through,” Peterson said.

However, Peterson said people in North America do not need to be concerned about getting stung by an Asian giant hornet. He said the recent attention the insect is getting has been “blown out of proportion.”

“There’s not going to be an outbreak of these things. You have to remember the pictures floating around on the internet are of dead hornets, which aren’t going to hurt anybody,” Peterson said.

“The whole hype that’s happening right now about giant hornets invading on the heels of the coronavirus, it’s completely absurd and it’s certainly not something people need to be afraid of.”

How to Treat a Hornet Sting

In case you missed it, giant Asian hornets have been spotted in the United States for the first time—and it’s safe to say the news has been a bit unsettling. The “murder hornets” are known for their toxic sting and have the ability to wipe out entire honeybee hives in a matter of hours.

But, take a deep breath. Only a small number of sightings have been confirmed in Washington state and parts of Canada, so it’s not super likely that you’ll come across one in other parts of the U.S. just yet. (If you think you have, report it to your state’s department of agriculture here.)

Still, you might stumble upon a native hornet as they become more active throughout the spring and summer. And while some are more powerful than others, a hornet sting can hurt. Unlike bees, these pests can and will attack you more than once when provoked. If you play your cards right, your odds of getting stung by a hornet are low. But if you happen to find yourself in that situation, here’s exactly what to do and how to treat the sting, according to experts.

Why do hornets sting people, anyway?

Hornets are social insects that live in colonies, and they work hard to protect that colony, says Nancy Troyano, Ph.D., board-certified entomologist and director of operations education and training for Western Exterminator Company. “They will usually only attack to defend themselves or their colony when they feel it is being threatened,” Troyano says.

This can happen when you come into close proximity to their nest, which is about a 10-foot radius by most hornet standards, Troyano says. Of course, you probably aren’t in the habit of walking up to hornet nests for kicks, but you can come near one by accident—typically in higher areas, like treetops, attics, under roofs, and ceilings in garages.

“For a lot of people, it’s bad timing,” says entomologist Roberto M. Pereira, Ph.D., an insect research scientist with the University of Florida. “You may walk in a place where they are or cross paths and bump into them. Their reaction is to sting to get away.”

What does a hornet sting feel like?

It’s not comfortable. “Hornet stings, like bee stings, are painful and perhaps even more so compared to honeybees, simply because they are larger in size and so have a larger sized stinger,” Troyano says.

While bees lose their stinger (and in some cases die) after attacking you, hornets don’t. “They can sting more than once,” Pereira says. It’s not just the puncture wound that hurts—hornets also inject venom that’s designed to cause pain when they sting. “People describe the sensation of being stung as a sharp, burning sensation, followed by intense itching,” Troyano says.

How to treat a hornet sting properly

First, you want to do your best to avoid being stung multiple times. “If you are stung, calmly but quickly walk away from the area,” Troyano says. (Read: No swatting!)

Again, hornets typically sting when you’re in close proximity to their nest, so they’ll most likely keep on stinging you if you stay put, Pereira says. “The best thing to do is to clear out of that area in general so that they don’t have any motives to sting you more,” he says.

If a hornet happens to land on you, gently brush it off and walk away calmly. “Don’t panic,” says Judy Black, VP of Quality Assurance and Technical Services at Orkin.

❗Hornet stings can cause allergic reactions in some people, like difficulty breathing, swelling of your mouth, lips, or throat, shortness of breath, nausea, or hives, Troyano says. If you experience any of those symptoms, seek medical care immediately.

As soon as you can, wash the sting with soap and water to clean the wound, and then apply ice to tamp down the swelling and inflammation, says board-certified dermatologist Gary Goldenberg, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

Tenderness and swelling can last up to a week. Take an ibuprofen to ease any soreness and if you’re dealing with itching, a topical steroid like hydrocortisone can help, Dr. Goldenberg says.

If the area where you were stung continues to be inflamed or it gets very red and feels warm to the touch, Dr. Goldenberg says it could be a sign of infection. In that case, call your doctor for proper treatment.

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90,000 Japanese hornets from hell. To what extent is this true?

Vespa mandarinia japonica is a subspecies of the Vespa mandarinia hornet. A hefty insect. It has a large yellow head with large eyes, a dark brown abdomen with brown-yellow stripes. The subspecies is endemic to the Japanese islands, where they can be found in the forested areas of the country. In Japan, the hornet is called Suzumebachi.

Japanese hornets from hell

Vespa mandarinia japonica . The Japanese giant hornet is actually quite scary.It is 5 centimeters long and is one of the world’s largest hornet species. The common European wasp, for example, is only 2.5 centimeters long.

The Japanese hornet is a subspecies of the largest hornet Vespa mandarinia, which is found only on the islands of Japan, where it is called the “sparrow-bee”. This endemic species has a wingspan of about 6 centimeters and a striped body color characteristic of hornets and wasps.

Hornet Bite

Being bitten by a Japanese giant hornet is not fun at all.On the contrary, it can even be life threatening. The bite hurts a lot thanks to more than a centimeter sting, but the worst is yet to come. The poison of the Japanese hornet attacks the nervous system. With , there is a high likelihood that after you have been stung, you will have to go to the hospital. In addition to affecting the nervous system, the poison can cause the so-called anaphylactic shock. This shock makes breathing difficult and can even lead to a heart attack.

The situation is complicated by the fact that the hornets’ venom contains acetylcholine, a special substance whose smell attracts other hornets.That is, if a person has been attacked by a Japanese hornet, then one should expect that his relatives will come to the aid of the insect, then the number of bites will increase many times over. In this case, a large amount of mandorotoxin enters the human body – a powerful poison that can cause death, regardless of the presence of allergies. Angry hornets are capable of chasing a person up to 5 kilometers away.

Of course, these side effects do not apply to everyone, but caution is appropriate.

Cause of Death No. 1 in Japan

Japan is a huge country with many different types of dangerous animals. Black and brown bears, leopards, wild boars, snakes, etc. Yet the Japanese hornet is the number one killer among animals. This is mainly due to its extremely strong poison.

Hornet is dangerous not only for humans. There are other animals that can be affected by hornets.

This is especially true for bee colonies. Asian giant hornets are predators as they prey on insects, including honey bees.This is a serious problem for Japanese beekeepers. Hornets kill bees at a terrifying rate: a single malevolent hornet can kill over 40 European bees per minute.

These hornets are generally not interested in humans or large animals, but they can aggressively attack humans or animals if they come close to their nest or honeybee colony that the hornets prey on.

Asian giant hornets are predators

Yet small bees can rally against big killers.If the Japanese hornet flies too close, smaller bees can strangle it by sitting on it as much as possible and vibrating their bodies (to raise their body temperature). Smaller bees can handle higher temperatures than larger hornets so they won’t die from overheating.

Hornets – a snack

But in the central region of Chubu, these insects, sometimes called “killer hornets”, are not only known for their aggression and excruciating bite.They are considered an enjoyable snack and invigorating ingredient in drinks.

The giant hornet, like other species of wasps, has traditionally been considered a delicacy in this rugged part of the country. The larvae are often stored in jars, fried in a pan, or steamed with rice to make a savory dish called chebo-gohan. Adults are spit-roasted until the shell is light and crispy. They leave a warm and tingling sensation when eaten. In Tokyo, the giant hornet is on the menu of more than 30 restaurants.

Hornets can also give the liquor an extra boost. Live specimens are drowned in shochu, a clear distilled beverage. In their death throes, insects release their poison into the liquid, and it is infused until it becomes a dark amber hue.


  • Hornets are a species of wasps that are stinging insects.
  • Vespa is a genus (category) of social wasps that live in large colonies consisting of a queen and hundreds of workers.
  • An adult Japanese hornet is about the same size as your thumb;
  • One hornet can kill 3000 European bees in 1 hour
  • The hornet has only 5 eyes, 2 large and 3 small
  • Hornets nest, in particular in agricultural areas of Japan
  • In Japan, from a wasp or hornet bite, annually dies from 30 to 40 people
  • Asian giant hornets are usually much larger than any other hornets,
  • They have large, thick heads and can vary in color, they can be in different shades of orange, yellow and brown
  • Working hornets about 3 .5cm long.Queens can be from 4 to 5 cm in length, with a wingspan of 4 to 7 cm.
  • Hornets build nests in the ground and usually forage within 1 km, but can fly up to 8 km from the nest.
  • Normal beekeeping suits do not protect against Asian giant hornet bites. Special protective equipment required.

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The Japanese hornet is a huge giant insect: what it looks like and why it is dangerous

The Japanese hornet is a large stinging insect that bears great resemblance to a wasp.Their bites are not only painful, but also pose a great danger to the stung. In Japan, about 40 people die from his attack than from animal attacks.

The appearance of a huge Japanese hornet

He has a yellow head with a pair of primary eyes and three additional eyes, and his body consists of brown and yellow stripes. The body length is 4 cm, the wingspan is up to 6 cm. Outwardly, the Japanese hornet looks like a wasp. The sting is straight, its length is 6.25 mm. After being bitten, it does not remain in the skin, as is the case with a bee sting.The toxins and histamines contained in the poison can cause the strongest manifestation of an allergic reaction.

Attention! Failure to provide first aid to the injured person can result in death.

The insect can be seen in gardens, orchards and in the wild. Also a frequent visitor to the apiary, this is a real killer of bees, you need to fight with him, otherwise the hornet family will exterminate them all. Nests can be built anywhere, the main thing is that they are easily accessible and protected from weather conditions.

Lifestyle & Nutrition

Each individual has its own responsibilities. So, the function of procreation is entrusted to the uterus, the working hornets are engaged in the delivery of food for her and the larvae. They feed on honey bees, agricultural pests, sugar-containing vegetables, fruits. If a Japanese hornet finds a bee hive, it marks it with an odorous liquid, so that later it will return here with its brothers. During the attack, they literally dismember their victim. Having dealt with large bees, the giants take honey and larvae for further food.

Interesting: in 90 minutes 30 hornets can exterminate the entire bee family. It will take no more than 60 seconds for a giant to destroy up to 40 bees.


The homeland of this insect is Japan. Outside of it, the Japanese hornet lives exclusively in the southern part of Sakhalin Island. In Eurasia, its closest brother is the Asian hornet. On the territory of the Russian Federation, its area of ​​existence is the Primorsky Territory.It is there that he is most often found.

The hornet’s cocoon is very similar to a hornet’s nest; it is distinguished from the latter by its exceptionally large size. If a person does not bother them himself, they will not attack him. They attack if they are in great danger. To get rid of nests, it is worth using the services of certified specialists. Otherwise, there is a high probability of being stung.

Insect reproduction

With the onset of springtime, the fertilized female begins to build a nest from the bark of branches.She has a powerful jaw with which she crushes them. Wood particles are moistened with salivary secretions. Of the three hundred laid eggs, larvae appear in a week, a month later, a young hornet appears. He can already feed on his own and take care of other larvae.

Interesting. In eggs that are not fertilized, males will develop in them. Spacious and comfortable cells in the nest are occupied by females – future successors of their own kind.

Young females start mating and look for new nesting sites.With the onset of cold weather, males die, they have a short period of existence. The queen, which is unable to lay eggs, is driven out of the family, and she soon dies.

How dangerous is the Japanese hornet

The bite of the Japanese hornet is so painful that it can even be compared to the blow of a hot nail. The insect injects a toxic poisonous substance through the sting, which poses a colossal danger for allergy sufferers. Multiple bites can be fatal.Especially hornets need to be wary of young children.

Poison, in addition to the manifestation of allergies, can cause cardiac arrest, anaphylactic shock. These signs appear immediately.

These individuals produce poison, which contains mandorotoxin and acetylcholine. The latter substance is used by insects to attract their fellows. Usually, people who have killed the hornet or have come too close to the nesting site of these insects are attacked. It is almost impossible to run away or hide from them, they pursue their abuser up to 5 kilometers.

What to do if bitten

First of all, you need to calm down. Severe pain will surely appear at the site of the bite. Do not start to get nervous and think that the body is destroyed by the poison. The point here is completely different, and it lies in the effect of a poisonous substance that affects the nerve endings (the consequences of a hornet bite and what to do at home, read more in the article here).

Symptoms and effects

After a hornet bite, a person will feel the following symptoms:

  • enlarged lymph nodes;
  • Hardening of the soft tissues of the affected area;
  • rapid heartbeat;
  • 90,061 fever, fever, chills;

  • swelling, redness of the bite site.

First aid should be given to the victim immediately after the bite. If this is not done, consequences are possible in the form of damage to nearby organs, provoking bleeding in them.

In every situation, it is very difficult to predict the possible consequences of a Japanese hornet bite. For example, in some people this may be limited to pain and swelling of the affected area. Others will experience suffocation and loss of consciousness. The situation may worsen if a wasp or bee has already bitten a person before.

First Aid

If bitten by a Japanese giant hornet, first aid should be given to the victim immediately.

  1. Try to suck at least the minimum amount of poison from the wound in order to reduce the intensity of the spread of this substance.
  2. For disinfection, treat the bite site with peroxide, manganese solution or alcohol.
  3. Apply wet sugar to the affected area of ​​the skin, put a cold compress on top of it.This will help draw off some of the remaining toxic substance. If none of this was at hand, you can use a slice of apple, garlic or onion, a plantain leaf.

When a bee bites, it leaves its sting, but the hornet does not. Therefore, you should not look for it, and even more so try to squeeze something out of the wound.

Allergic reaction

The victim should be given antihistamines or glucocorticoid drugs. Find any of these drugs in your home medicine cabinet:

  • Suprastin;
  • Diphenhydramine;
  • Loratadine;
  • Dexamethasone;
  • Hydrocortisone;
  • Prednisolone.

Timely use of these funds will prevent the development of severe symptoms and allergies.

These drugs have side effects, therefore, take them only in case of urgent need, so as not to aggravate the victim’s condition.

In the absence of an allergic reaction, an ointment or balm can be used to relieve pain. For example, use: “Soventol”, “Fenistil gel”.

Another common symptomatology after a hornet bite is an increase in body temperature up to 38 degrees, not higher.If it is more than this indicator, the person needs to be urgently taken to the hospital. Otherwise, if the temperature does not rise, you will not have to take the medicine. If a feeling of nausea occurs, you should refuse to eat, drink more fluids. It is advisable to drink warm tea.

If symptoms of an allergic reaction worsen, call emergency responders immediately.

What not to do

When providing first aid to a stung one, it is necessary to know what in no case should be done:

  1. Drink alcohol.Alcohol will further increase the swelling of soft damaged skin tissues.
  2. It is forbidden to take Diprazine. It triggers the body’s own immune response to the hornet bite.
  3. You cannot ignore the hornet bite, and even more so hope that nothing will happen.

If a giant bit someone close to you, it is imperative to provide first aid.

Tactful behavior towards these insects, you should be prepared for unpleasant consequences.It is worth remembering that the hornet will never attack a person if there is no threat from him. And some people get along with these people for years. In response, they protect the crop from various garden pests. But just in case, there should always be first aid supplies at hand.

90,000 What to do if bitten by a hornet

The prevalence of dangerous hornets

Hornets – are giant wasps that have a particularly painful bite.

Hornet venom can also cause an allergic reaction. And in large doses (that is, with multiple bites), it can even be fatal.

The only hornet species recorded on the territory of Ukraine is common hornet or hornet wasp. In some sources it is called the European hornet . The length of the insect does not exceed 2.8 centimeters, although the uterus can reach 3.5 centimeters. The insect can be found in almost all European countries, except for some northern ones.Also, the European hornet is found in North America, Kazakhstan and China.

And in the east, eastern hornet or eastern wasp is much more common. It can be seen in Turkey, Nepal, Oman, India, China …

In Thailand, China, Japan, India and in the eastern parts of Russia, there are black hornets.

But the biggest of all is the Giant Asian Hornet. It can reach 5 centimeters and is distributed in the mountainous Asian regions.His bites cause 30-50 deaths annually in Japan and 42 in China. The toxicity of the giant hornet venom is very high and sometimes can lead not only to skin irritation, but also to the failure of internal organs.

There are several reports indicating that Asian hornets can sometimes appear outside of their natural range. For example, two such cases were recorded in the United States (Washington state).

Why a hornet bite is dangerous

Asian hornets have a long sting capable of piercing even special beekeeping protective suits.

And its poison in terms of toxicity significantly exceeds the venom of many other stinging insects.

In the late 1980s, researchers studied the toxicity of various insect poisons in mice and derived a measure of LD50. It is also known as the median lethal dose, which causes the death of 50% of the experimental mice. It is believed that the less poison is needed for a lethal dose, the more dangerous it is.

So, the most poisonous insect poison in the world belongs to the ant “Maricopa” with an LD50 value of about 0.1 mg / kg mice.

The LD50 for giant hornet venom is 4.1 milligrams per kilogram. In principle, this is not much different from the level of toxicity of other closely related hornet species. And honey bee venom is considered even more toxic and has an LD50 of 2.8 mg / kg.

But if bees only sting once, giant hornets can bite repeatedly. Consequently, the dose of poison that they release into the victim can be ten times higher than that of the bee.

In general, all the poison that is in one hornet can kill about 10 mice.And a small colony of these insects can bite to death a 150-kilogram animal.

In order for the hornet poison itself to become dangerous to humans, according to scientists, hundreds of hornets must also sting it (when compared with bees – the bite of about a thousand honey bees leads to a similar effect). Therefore, most of the deaths associated with hornet bites are caused not by the poison itself, but by allergic anaphylactic reactions to it.

Hornets venom contains substances such as histamine and acetylcholine, which cause pain and swelling.Acetylcholine is also a powerful pain stimulant, making the bite more painful than that of wasps and bees.

Substances such as phospholipase and kinins contribute to the spread of inflammation. These chemicals can break down blood and muscle cells.

All this can lead to additional release of hemoglobin molecules from erythrocytes and increase the burden on the kidneys. This is why attacks by giant hornets can lead to kidney failure.

But, as scientists note, all hornets, like wasps, usually will not attack first. Most deaths from giant hornet bites occur because humans have somehow touched the nests of these insects.

In addition, it is believed that before sting, some species of hornets, the same giant hornets, can warn of this by flying around the victim and even clicking their lower jaw.

Symptoms of hornet venom allergy

The area of ​​the skin stung by a hornet usually swells a lot, itches and hurts for several days. Sometimes the pain can be so severe that it interferes with normal sleep and requires pain relievers.

If you are stung by a hornet, the first step is to try to avoid subsequent bites. To do this, you need to calmly and quickly move to a safe distance.

First aid for a hornet bite

Further, as soon as possible, you need to wash the bite site with water and soap to clean the wound.

If the hornet has bitten the hand or fingers, you need to remove the jewelry, if for other parts of the body, change the embarrassing clothing.

Ice , which is applied for about 20 minutes, can help reduce pain and swelling.

Traditional methods of first aid for a hornet bite also include the use of garlic. To do this, a clove of garlic is cleaned, crushed and applied to the affected area. It is believed to have pain relieving effects.

You can also use onions (cut in half), baking soda (mixed with water to a porridge consistency), salt, lemon juice (applied to a swab and applied to the bite), and vinegar.

Hornet bite edema lasts about a week

But if after a while, instead of improvement, the opposite process is observed, this may indicate the spread of infection. In this case, you need to see a doctor.

If, at the site of the bite and in the adjacent area, it begins to itch strongly, and the rash resembles hives, an allergic reaction may have begun.

In the case of an allergy to insect venom, symptoms often develop immediately after the bite, and the severity of the reaction may vary from case to case.

A sign of a mild allergic reaction is hives (without difficulty breathing) near the site of the bite, as well as on other parts of the body. Some people also experience a slight drop in blood pressure, which leads to mild dizziness.

Large local reactions cause delayed and prolonged local inflammation, which grows within 24 to 48 hours and disappears after 3 to 10 days.

For a minor reaction, an antihistamine or hydrocortisone cream should help.

But if the reaction goes beyond the local and there are symptoms from other systems, you should immediately seek emergency help.

In such cases, an anaphylactic reaction may develop

Its features are:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • swelling of lips, eyelids or throat
  • dizziness, fainting or confusion
  • heart palpitations
  • urticaria
  • nausea, convulsions, or vomiting.

If you have epinephrine with you, you need to inject it yourself, but still call the doctors and wait for their arrival.

Anaphylaxis to insect bites occurs in approximately 3% of the world’s adult population and can be fatal. The proportion of systemic reactions is about 5-10% of all bites.

At the same time, half of all fatal reactions occur without a history of previous reactions to the bite of this or that insect.

Therefore, even if the risk of anaphylaxis is negligible, your doctor may prescribe an epinephrine autoinjector.As a rule, an autoinjector is recommended if the risk of developing a systemic reaction exceeds 5-10%. But sometimes there are tips to wear an autoinjector even with a 2% chance of anaphylaxis.

If you have already experienced a severe allergic reaction to an insect bite, you need to see your doctor to develop a further strategy.

If during the examination by a specialist it is determined that the patient has a high risk of developing anaphylaxis (more than 10%), diagnostic testing and allergenic immunotherapy (AIT) with insect poisons are prescribed.

Typically, diagnostic tests are indicated for patients who have had previous systemic reactions to bites. This is because sensitization to poison can be found in 25% of adults.

The effectiveness of immunotherapy for getting rid of allergy to hornet venom and preventing anaphylaxis is estimated at 75-98%. But for such a result, the course of subcutaneous injections with allergens should be about 5 years.

Sources of information :


2.https: //www.westernexterminator.com/bug-control/10-ways-to-treat-insect-stings/

3.https: //www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-insect-bites/basics/art-20056593

4.https: //www.everydayhealth.com/bug-bites/wasp-stings/

5.https: //www.thermofisher.com/diagnostic-education/patient/wo/en/allergy-types/hornet-wasp-bee-sting-allergy.html

6.https: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1961691/

7.https: //amp.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/24/allergic-wasp-stings-anaphylactic-shock-immunotherapy

8.https: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1113072/

9.https: //api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/animals/2020/05/why-asian-giant-hornets-have-painful-stings

90,000 is the most dangerous wild animal of the Land of the Rising Sun

Of course, Japanese hornets do not hunt humans, but about 40 inhabitants of Japan die every year from the bites of these terrible insects.These are some of the largest hornets living on our planet, and they have a formidable weapon that makes them very dangerous to humans.

The Japanese hornet is a subspecies of the largest hornet Vespa mandarinia, which is found only on the islands of Japan, where it is called the “sparrow-bee”. This endemic species has a wingspan of about 6 centimeters and a striped body color characteristic of hornets and wasps. Such hornets live in the forest ecosystems of the archipelago, forming large colonies.The number of insects in such colonies can reach 300 individuals. Hornets feed on plant nectar or other insects, but people are often attacked. This happens in cases where human behavior is regarded by insects as a threat.

In the event of a hornet bite, a person will face the most unpleasant consequences, from an allergic reaction to a death. The fact is that this species of hornets produces the most toxic poison of all hornets that exist on our planet. The insect has a sting about 6 millimeters long and can sting its prey several times.People who are allergic to wasp or bee venom also react to hornet venom, so in this case, a Japanese hornet bite causes anaphylactic shock.

The situation is complicated by the fact that the hornets’ venom contains acetylcholine, a special substance whose smell attracts other hornets. That is, if a person has been attacked by a Japanese hornet, then one should expect that his relatives will come to the aid of the insect, then the number of bites will increase many times over. In this case, a large amount of mandorotoxin enters the human body – a powerful poison that also causes death, regardless of the presence of allergies.Angry hornets are capable of chasing a person up to 5 kilometers away.

But not only people and wild animals suffer from the bites of this monster. European bees, which are bred by local beekeepers as a more productive species, also fall prey to this predator. Interestingly, the local Japanese bees have evolved tactics of protection against the dangerous hornet. If the hornet approaches the hive, then the bees surround it with a dense ring, working intensively with their wings.The temperature inside such a ring rises rapidly and the hornet, 20 minutes after such “close communication”, dies from a critical temperature rise.

But if bees are saved by collective actions, then a person has to rely only on his own discretion. And if you, while walking through one of the national parks of Japan, hear a characteristic sound, then remain calm, do not make sudden movements and slowly move away from the meeting point. There may be a hornet colony nest nearby, and the insects just want to warn you about it.

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Who has the worst sting in the world?

Photo by MYN / Gil Wizen / naturepl.com

The sting is used by many living things to hurt enemies and inject poison, but they will seem to you innocent babies compared to those monsters about which says BBC Earth columnist Ella Davis .

The sting is one of nature’s most brutal inventions.

To begin with, it hurts, piercing the flesh like a sharp lance. But the sting is also a chemical weapon that injects a dose of toxins directly into the bloodstream.

Whose sting is more terrible than all other stings; which animal should be avoided at all costs?

This question is more complicated than it might seem at first glance. You can think about who stings the most painful, or about whose poison is the most toxic or most deadly – and this is not the same thing.

Let’s start with the pain. Checking who stings the most is easy: you just have to allow yourself to be stung.

Photo by Martin Dohm / naturepl.com

Photo caption,

Bullet Ant (Paraponera clavata)

In his famous experiment, entomologist Justin Schmidt allowed many insects to sting themselves in the name of science and developed his own pain index with heartbreaking descriptions of the sensations of each sting.

The unfortunate inhabitants of Central and South America will probably agree with Schmidt that the sting of the bullet ant hurts the most.The very name of this insect is associated with the pain of a gunshot wound.

And the most generous portion of poison – 2.5 milligrams – is injected into its victim by a road wasp of the genus Pepsis. However, Schmidt claims that this bite is “essentially non-toxic, just painful.”

The ants of the species Pogonomyrmex Maricopa, on the other hand, have perhaps the most powerful venom of all stinging insects. Each ant has very little poison, but they live in colonies of 10 thousand insects, ready to repel any threat together, which can be very dangerous.

This is important to understand: stinging insects not only cause pain, but can also pose a threat to life and health. In particular, scorpions are known for their dangerous stings.

Photo by Daniel HEUCLIN / naturepl.com

Photo caption,

Yellow scorpion (Leiurus quinquestriatus)

Scorpions possess one of the most terrifying-looking stings: the last segment of the tail, telson, ends with a needle and a pair of venom glands …

However, scorpion researcher Lorenzo Prendini from the American Museum of Natural History claims that out of 2,000 known scorpion species, only about 20 are of “medical importance”, that is, they pose a threat to human life.

All but one of these dangerous scorpions belong to the butid family, which live in different parts of the world, from Mexico to Brazil and from southern Africa to India. However, the worst of them are concentrated in a kind of “hot spot”.

“There are many very venomous species in North America and the Middle East,” says Prendini. “The yellow scorpion (Leiurus quinquestriatus) and various species of androctonus, especially the southern one (A.australis) and a fat-tailed (A. crassicauda). “

The yellow scorpion is also known as the” deadly hunter “and androctonus means” murderer. “This is no exaggeration.

Photo by MYN / Gil Wizen / naturepl.com

Photo caption,

Androctonus bicolor

Southern Autoctonus is a fearless creature that does not dig holes, but hides in crevices, including the walls of village houses.

This scorpion can grow up to 10 centimeters in length, and its venom contains powerful toxins that affect the nervous system.

“The consequences of poisoning with scorpion venom depend on the amount of poison that has entered the body and the degree of its toxicity – the strength of the effect at the cellular level,” says Prendini.

“Thus, a larger scorpion whose venom contains less potent toxins but is capable of injecting more venom into the victim — such as A. australis or Parabuthus granulatus — may pose a more serious threat to life than a small scorpion with a more potent a poison that nevertheless enters the body in smaller doses, such as Leiurus quinquestriatus. “

Most healthy adults are able to survive after being stung by a scorpion, but only with the provision of qualified medical care, including an antidote.

“Most deaths from scorpion poisoning occur in young children, the elderly or the sick,” says Prendini.

“The majority of scorpion attacks occur in poor rural areas close to scorpions.”

Due in part to the fact that death from scorpion stings most often occurs in remote places, the available data on such cases cannot be considered completely reliable. The same applies to the most dangerous stinging inhabitants of the oceans.

Photo author, Visuals Unlimited / naturepl.com

Photo caption,

Bulldog ant (Myrmecia piliventris) stings its prey

Jellyfish and their relatives use stinging cells called nematocysts to hunt for prey and protect themselves.

These specialized cellular structures act like tiny harpoons. Some of them, piercing the flesh, carry a poisonous charge, aimed primarily at slowing down the movement of rapidly swimming prey – for example, fish.

Of the 2000 species of jellyfish known to science, only 10-15 species pose a threat to human life.

But their close relatives box jellyfish, which, despite such a similar name, belong to a different group, can be really dangerous.

The largest of these is the sea wasp, or the Australian box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri), which can weigh up to a kilogram. Its numerous three-meter tentacles are studded with hundreds of poisonous needles that affect muscle and nervous tissue.

Photo by Aflo / naturepl.com

Photo caption,

Compass jellyfish – nettle of the northern seas (Chrysaora melanaster)

“C. fleckeri is responsible for most of the deaths from jellyfish stings in Australia, while other Chironex species are responsible for the murders elsewhere, “explains jellyfish connoisseur Lisa-Ann Gershwin of the Australian federal science agency called the National Research and Applied Research Association.

In particular, if you measure the danger of the sting by the speed of death, the Australian box jellyfish will lead this charts.

“C. fleckeri is considered the most poisonous animal in the world,” Gershwin says. “[Its victims] die in just two minutes. And not in some cases, but very often.”

“Death occurs as a result of blockage of the heart muscle in a contracted state,” she adds. “After that, survival is unlikely – you cannot squeeze even more what is already compressed.So the whole safety precaution comes down to avoiding the bite and immediately giving the victim cardiopulmonary resuscitation. “

Another name that comes up in conversations about the deadly box jellyfish is the irukandji jellyfish.

Photo credit, Jurgen Freund / naturepl .com

Photo caption,

Irukandji jellyfish (Carukia barnesi)

Until recently it was believed that there was only one type of Irukandji jellyfish, named after the indigenous Australians living along the northeastern coast of the country, where in the 1950s for the first time a bite of this creature was recorded.

But now experts distinguish about 25 species of jellyfish in the Caribdeida order – they all have a terrifying ability to sting their victims and are found all over the world.

The smallest of them has only one centimeter of bells, but at each corner they have tentacles that can reach a hundred times the length of their entire body.

The venom released by stinging cells located both on the tentacles and on the bell disrupts the natural processes necessary for life.

Unlike other jellyfish bites, symptoms in this case are not immediately noticeable. “Irukandji syndrome” begins to manifest itself after 20-30 minutes: the victim has back pain, nausea, muscle spasms and a feeling of inevitable trouble, and a heart attack is also possible due to a sharp increase in blood pressure.

“The most common Irukandji bites are Carukia barnesi – these jellyfish are swarming,” Gershwin clarifies. poison. “

Compared to the Australian cubomedusa, the poison of the Irukandji is “much more potent for the same volume,” but according to Gershwin, with timely medical attention, the likelihood of dying from an Irukandji bite is lower.

However, it should be noted that Irukandji bites do not leave any traces, so it is possible that the number of reports of these encounters with invisible killers is less than the number of cases themselves.

At the same time, during the period since 1883, 68 people died from the bite of the Australian box jellyfish in the waters of Australia.

Photo by NAture Production / naturepl.com

Photo caption,

Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica)

However, today not many people die from a jellyfish bite – thanks to information about the seasonal appearance of dangerous jellyfish and improved quality of treatment …

Therefore, in search of the stinging animals responsible for the massacres, we will have to return to land.

The Asian giant hornet is the world’s largest stinging insect, nicknamed the “Hell Hornet”.

In Japan, 30-50 people die every year from the bite of a giant hornet, which causes severe swelling.

In Ankang, China, 41 people died in 2013 as a result of a seasonal increase in the number of hornets in three months.

At least at first glance, it looks like these insects are ahead of other species in the number of victims. However, an important caveat must be made: the number of deaths as a result of attacks by scorpions and box jellyfish is not well documented, that is, a direct comparison turns out to be incorrect.

However, it is possible that the deadliest sting belongs to those without whom we, perhaps, could not do.

Schmidt argues that the species that poses the greatest danger – or at least deserves the most respect – is well known to us all – the honey bees.

Photo by Simon Colmer / naturepl.com

Photo caption,

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) live in colonies

All these bees belong to the genus Apis.In Europe and North America, European honeybees (A. mellifera) are well known to many, while in Asia, giant bees (A. dorsata) are more common.

“The honeybees A. mellifera and A. dorsata have a lot of potent venom, attack in the thousands and are quite aggressive,” Schmidt writes.

For most people, a single bee sting simply causes local pain and swelling. However, a stinging bee releases an alarming pheromone, which is a signal for an attack for its relatives.

However, there must be a lot of bites for a fatal outcome. In most cases, Schmidt said, “with fewer than 500 bites, there is little risk of serious intoxication.”

Of course, it is very unpleasant when you are stung by several hundred bees, but most of us will not die from this.

At the same time, there are several factors that make honey bee stings the most deadly.

Photo by Tim Martin / naturepl.com

Photo caption,

African killer bee (Apis mellifera)

First, because of man’s love for honey, honey bees have spread all over the world.Among other things, this means that the person often comes into contact with them, thereby increasing the likelihood of an attack.

Secondly, some honeybees are particularly aggressive.

Domesticated bees are bred to obey their masters, but in Africa, wild honey bees are much more likely to attack predators in droves.

In the twentieth century they were brought to South America and during this time they spread to the north, where they are called “killer bees”.

Over several decades, killer bees sent hundreds of people to the next world.However, they only attack if they believe that someone is threatening their hive.

Photo by Visuals Unlimited, Inc / naturepl.com

Photo caption,

European honey bee (Apis mellifera)

If left alone, they will almost certainly leave you alone.

Finally, a single bite can be fatal if you develop an allergic reaction.

Anaphylaxis occurs when a person’s immune system reacts too strongly to an allergen, causing swelling to develop rapidly, resulting in tissue damage and breathing difficulties.

The most severe reaction, called anaphylactic shock, can cause asphyxia, especially in the presence of a disease such as asthma.

A similar reaction can occur when an ant, hornet or jellyfish bite, but cases of bee stings with anaphylactic shock are recorded more often.

Fortunately, anaphylaxis is not very common. For example, in the UK fewer than three people die from bee stings a year, while in the United States the number is about 55.

What happens if this insect bites, what to do?

A hornet bite is not just a little nuisance. In severe cases, a person injured as a result of an insect attack may die from Quincke’s edema, which developed after the poison of this representative of the Hymenoptera has entered his body. This can be avoided if appropriate action is taken immediately. The health and life of the victim, especially a child, an elderly and allergy-prone person, depends on the timeliness of first aid in a hornet attack.

Who are hornets

What a hornet looks like and how painful its bite is, know those who accidentally disturbed a wild insect in its shelter. Hornet is a hymenoptera predatory insect, the largest representative of the wasp family. The body length of an adult is from 2 to 2.5 cm, with the length of the uterus reaching 3.5 cm.

Unlike the thin wasp, the hornet has a more rounded abdomen and a larger crown of the head. Another important sign: brownish-red color of the chest.In the rest of the representatives, this part of the body is painted black. Basis of the diet: flies, aphids, flower nectar or juice of various fruits. As a rule, stinging insects live in forest glades warmed by the sun, in gardens, in suburban areas.

Reference: A hornet’s nest can be found in any secluded, weather-protected place: in a bush, in a firewood, on a tree, under the roof of a house, on an open summer veranda. The swarm can hold up to 1,000 individuals.

There are several dozen species of insects that live in different parts of our planet.The most common: Japanese hornet, oriental, common, deplorable, Dybowski, Asian.

Hornet species and their way of life

Fatigue-free builders construct cocoon-like nests from pieces of bark. Then insects hang them in places protected from wind or rain: in attics, in the crown of trees, in a woodpile, etc. In such houses, the female lays eggs, and the rest of the adults find food for fast-growing offspring.

Since predator colonies can be located in the most unexpected places outside the city, you need to be careful.Hornets themselves are not aggressive and do not attack first. However, any sudden movement near the nest or its destruction signals danger and stimulates the production of anxiety pheromone, which determines the behavior of the entire swarm.

Nest of the Asian hornet

Asian species are especially dangerous for people, the bites of which are almost always fatal. The length of adults reaches 5.5 cm, and the poison in the sting has the strongest toxicity.

The bite of the European hornet inhabiting the territory of the Russian Federation is more harmless and leads to the development of fatal complications only in the case of a rapid allergic reaction and the absence of timely anti-shock therapy.

Interesting fact: Annually in the countries of the East from 70 to 100 people die from a hornet bite. This fatality rate is much higher than the death rate from attacks by wild animals.

How and what the hornet bites with

The method of defeat cannot be called a bite, because the insect does not bite, but stings. Powerful, developed jaws are designed for food: small midges, arthropods. The expression “hornet hits” is not without meaning, because when approaching the victim, the insect does not sit on the surface of the skin, but plunges the sting at lightning speed, literally on the fly, bending in a special way.After injecting the poison, the hornet removes the sting.

The sting, designed to protect against enemy attacks, is located at the bottom of the abdomen, and only in females. It has no jags like a bee’s, which means it is suitable for multiple attacks. If a person does not threaten the peace of the swarm or individual, he is safe.

But in case of sudden movements, attempts to kill an insect or catch it, he will not only sting the offender, but will also send a signal to the rest of the inhabitants of the nest. The fact is that during the introduction of the sting, pheromones begin to be released, notifying of the danger.Having received a signal, a whole flock of hornets, capable of biting to death, flies to the aid of their relative.


Some types of bees are not as harmless as they might seem. For example, the African bee and its hybrids, which appeared in America as invasive species, are quite aggressive and have caused a lot of harm over the past 50 years. Ordinary bees, as you know, will not take up arms if it is not necessary, and after being stung, they die.

The bee sting itself is not fatal, but it can cause allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock, which leads to death.Unlike ordinary bees, killer bees can attack even in the case of the lightest provocation, and pounce on the victim with a whole swarm. These bees kill people and livestock.

What is characteristic of a hornet bite

It is almost impossible to die from one bite of a European hornet. However, the complex chemical composition of the poison that enters the victim’s body causes a number of negative reactions. As a rule, the insect infects the open areas of the body or the face.

When a sting is introduced, the insect injects 0.5-2.0 mg of poison into the wound, causing an acute negative reaction of the victim’s body.

Pay attention ! With a bite on the face, urgent help is especially important – toxic substances reduce visual function. The swelling rapidly expands to the eyes, which cannot be opened.

If the hand is damaged, fingers cannot be moved. If the leg is a person is unable to walk because of pain.

The appearance of urticaria is a harbinger of Quincke’s edema. Tumors that occupy large areas grow within an hour and do not subside within 10–48 hours.This complication is very dangerous, as swelling of the larynx makes it difficult to breathe and can lead to suffocation.

A hornet bite can be identified by the following features:

  • the bite site looks swollen, increasing several times, swells, turns red;
  • The sting penetration site hurts unbearably and itches;
  • heart rate increases;
  • body temperature rises;
  • dizzy;
  • lymph nodes are enlarged;
  • inflamed abscesses form on the skin;
  • blood pressure drops sharply.

If a person has a tendency to allergic reactions, add to the above symptoms:

  • nausea, sometimes vomiting; 90 062
  • speech confusion
  • hands and feet get cold;
  • clouding of consciousness;
  • in some cases, there is cyanosis of the neck, eyelids, lips, ears;
  • soft tissues swell, asthma attacks appear;

red rashes and peeling appear on the skin.

First aid to a person (child and adult) stung by a hornet

The bites of such a dangerous insect as a hornet cannot be ignored, since the consequences largely depend on the timeliness of first aid. In a number of cases, therapeutic actions, provided no later than 15–20 minutes from the moment of the attack, can prevent the death of the victim.

To help the bitten person at home, you need to:

Carefully examine the affected area for a sting

If it remains in the wound (it is extremely rare), you need to carefully remove it with disinfected tweezers.Treat the wound with any antiseptic available in the home. It can be alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, a weakly concentrated solution of potassium permanganate

In the absence of these funds, rinse the affected area abundantly with running water. Apply ice or any food from the freezer to the inflamed area. To neutralize the poisonous substance and relieve itching, treat the affected area with saline, an aspirin tablet diluted in water, freshly squeezed juice of cucumber, parsley or dandelion greens.Give the victim an antihistamine.

The bitten one needs to drink a lot. You can drink it with plain water or warm tea. This measure will significantly reduce the intoxication of the body.

Medical assistance to the victim is required in the following cases:

  • significant increase in body temperature;
  • muscle cramps;
  • loss of consciousness;
  • hallucinations;
  • severe weakness;
  • indomitable vomiting;
  • extensive edema and their aggravation;
  • inflammation of the lymph nodes;
  • age up to 16 years.

You should also see a doctor if an insect has bitten in the face, neck, areas where large blood vessels are located. When transporting a bitten person to a medical facility on their own, 2 important rules must be observed:

  • position the victim’s head so that it is below body level;
  • put the person to be transported – in no case should he sit.

When providing emergency assistance, you must not:

  • give the victim alcohol;
  • to use the drug “Diprazin” as an antihistamine – this drug can cause a similar reaction in the body;
  • cauterize, rub or warm the affected area;
  • treat the wound with brilliant green or iodine;
  • Try to squeeze the poison out of the wound.

Hornet venom and its effect on the body

The poisonous substance injected by the hornet under the skin of the victim is protective, which explains the pain of the bite. The components that make up the venom are found in rattlesnakes and other representatives of the animal world. The most dangerous constituents are:

  1. Acetylcholine. Activates nerve endings. Getting into the tissues, it leads to irritation of the nerve nodes, the appearance of impulses and severe pain in the affected area.
  2. Phospholipase A2. A combination of enzymes that destroy cell walls. This substance bears a resemblance to a component of snake venom. Leads to vascular damage, hemorrhage, suppuration.
  3. Orientotoxin. Dissolves cell membranes, allowing their contents to escape into the intercellular space. Destroys cellular structures.
  4. Histamine. Activates a rapid allergic reaction.
  5. Mastoparan. Releases histamine.
  6. Mandorotoxin. Blocks the functions of the nervous system.
  7. Biogenic amines. Provoke malfunctions in the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Cause arrhythmia, difficulty breathing.

The rest of the components act as catalysts, enhancing the reaction of tissues, accelerating the spread of toxic substances.

Complications and consequences

Further complications and negative consequences from a hornet bite will be determined by several factors:

  • by the age category of the victim;
  • the body’s propensity to allergic manifestations;
  • How many bites were inflicted and in which parts of the body.The more there are, the more serious the reaction will be. The most unsafe bite areas are the face, neck, mucous membranes, eyes;
  • the general state of human health.

A couple of minutes after the insect has left its sting, people develop nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and characteristic symptoms of intoxication. The consequences for children or the elderly can be unforeseen. If an allergic reaction begins against the background of a toxic substance entering the body, then Quincke’s edema may develop, in which a person loses the ability to breathe on his own due to a strong swelling of the larynx.The work of the cardiovascular system may be disrupted, in rare cases, cardiac arrest is observed. If professional assistance is not provided, especially with multiple bites, a person may die.
We advise you to read how to apply honey for the face.

Actions for a bite at home

If you are bitten by a hornet, you do not need to panic, as this will only intensify the negative reaction of the body, which will not slow down to affect the victim’s condition. The most important thing is to stop the allergic reaction as soon as possible.

Severe symptoms of intoxication can greatly scare the victim, especially the child. However, do not lose your presence of mind. It is important to remember that timely and competently provided first aid will help to avoid the development of dangerous consequences of a bite.

First aid

When a hornet bites, it is important to remember that the victim’s condition depends on how competently first aid was provided to him. Here are the main recommendations of specialists:

  1. Help the victim move away from the site of the insect attack, seat him in a comfortable position, loosen tight-fitting clothing: belt, cuffs, collar.
  2. Inspect the bite site. If the hornet was killed during the attack, fragments of the sting may remain in the wound. They must be removed with alcohol-treated tweezers.
  3. As soon as possible, try to suck off the venom and then rinse the bite with cold water.
  4. Treat the affected area with a weak solution of potassium permanganate or other antibacterial agent.
  5. Wipe the bite site with alcohol, eau de toilette or vodka.
  6. Slightly above the lesion, apply a tight bandage to prevent the spread of the poison throughout the body.It is removed after 30 minutes.
  7. Apply a compress with ice or just something cold.
  8. To prevent the development of an allergic reaction, give the victim an antihistamine.
  9. Provide the victim with plenty of drinking water, preferably non-carbonated mineral water.
  10. If the allergy still manifests itself, take the victim to the nearest medical facility or call an ambulance.

First aid

All people should remember that insects do not attack first, do not provoke a hornet bite.What to do when a child becomes a victim? Coping with the pain and consequences of an insect attack is not always easy, even for an adult. Calling a doctor or visiting a hospital is recommended if there are obvious signs of severe intoxication:

  • large edema that interferes with necessary life activity;
  • severe pain;
  • a sharp deterioration in health;
  • pronounced allergic reaction.

If a child has survived a hornet bite, the following recommendations will tell you what to do at home:

  • Calm and give an antihistamine (suprastin, loratadine, claritin, tavegil) to relieve allergies, block receptors that cause edema;
  • Take off tight clothing, open a window for fresh air;
  • Inspect the site of the lesion, perhaps there is a broken sting left there.You can remove it using cosmetic tweezers;
  • Apply cold to the bite site for 10-15 minutes to slow the spread of the toxin in the tissues. If ice is used, then it is required to wrap it in a thick cloth;
  • treat the bite site with an antiseptic solution or an agent containing acid to neutralize harmful substances (lemon juice, acetylsalicylic acid), lubricate with Fenistil gel;
  • Apply a tight bandage above the bite site for 30 minutes to prevent the spread of the poison throughout the body.

It is possible to reduce intoxication by taking mineral water. It is not worth reducing the elevated temperature if it does not exceed 38 ° C. Seeing a doctor is mandatory if the child has not reached the age of 16, if several insect injections have occurred. The medical institution will determine whether a hornet bite is dangerous for a person, what treatment is necessary to prevent complications.
In rare cases, the weakened body of the victim may not be able to cope with the load – the person loses consciousness.Before the arrival of the ambulance team, you need to put the bitten in a horizontal position so that the legs are slightly higher than the head to ensure blood flow to the heart.

It is possible to cope independently with the treatment of a single bite if the victim is stable. It should be noted that if an allergic reaction to a bee sting has already manifested itself, then the defeat of the hornet will cause more intense signs of intoxication, possible complications, and medical attention will be required.

Due to ignorance, sometimes assistance measures are mistaken.

It is strictly forbidden:

  • to take alcohol to relieve pain – causes an increase in edema;
  • cauterize the bite site with a red-hot object – the wound increases;
  • Warm up the affected area – intoxication increases.

Why a hornet bite is dangerous for humans

For a healthy person who is not prone to allergies, more than 20 bites at the same time represent the maximum danger. Almost 96% of the victims have negative reactions of the body.For the remaining 4%, the hornet bite passes without consequences.

At risk:

  • allergy sufferers who may develop severe allergic reactions leading to laryngeal edema, death. However, such complications arise only when the victim does not receive qualified first aid; 90 062 90 061 persons subjected to repeated attacks by insects – the consequences will be more severe than the first time;
  • a strong negative reaction is observed if the victim is a child with an undeveloped immune system;
  • if the hornet stung in the head, neck or the zone of passage of large vessels, arteries.

Consequences of a hornet bite

The reaction of the body depends on the age and physical condition of the victim, whether he has chronic pathologies, his predisposition to allergies and the number of bites.

If no special measures were taken to provide first aid, the danger lies in the development of the following consequences:

  • infection and suppuration of the bite site;
  • multiple hemorrhages, which is especially likely with multiple bites;
  • local tissue necrosis;
  • renal failure;
  • cardiac arrest;
  • with individual intolerance to poison – anaphylactic shock;
  • lethal outcome.


The hospital diagnoses the victim’s condition and prescribes medications. The most severe condition of anaphylactic shock is eliminated with the help of hemodynamic drugs, infusion therapy.

If necessary, use adrenaline to expand the airways, increase blood pressure. Compensation for fluid deficiency is carried out by infusion of sodium chloride solution. The respiratory system is under the control of doctors.In case of large laryngeal edema, a tracheotomy is performed.

The severity of complications largely depends on the location of the bite, the resources of the victim’s body.

The ingress of poison into the neck, head, large vessels leads to severe forms of intoxication, long recovery.

Home treatment for moderate manifestations of inflammation is carried out using pharmacy drugs or folk remedies.

Apply to the lesion site:

  • gruel from a mixture of baking soda and crushed aspirin tablets diluted with water;
  • finely chopped parsley leaves, mashed plantain;
  • a mixture of mashed raw cucumber, potatoes, apple.

To relieve pain, reduce edema, wipe the bite site with a diluted solution of vinegar, dandelion juice. A few days of rest, rest, drinking plenty of water will normalize the condition, improve well-being.

Prevention of hornet bites

To protect yourself from the attack of poisonous insects, it is enough to follow the recommendations:

  1. Avoid sudden movements when spotting stinging insects.
  2. Once you find a nest, do not try to knock it down with a stick or destroy it.
  3. Do not knock on wood or roofs if you find a nest there.
  4. Stay away from the nest location.
  5. When going out of town, do not use perfumes with floral or fruity aromas.

Severe consequences of an attack

An allergy to a hornet bite is perhaps the most dangerous consequence of an attack by this insect for humans. In people with hypersensitivity to poison, the body’s immune response can proceed in a very severe form, sometimes turning into anaphylactic shock and ending in death.

You can never be sure of the reaction of an organism to an insect bite, because it does not depend on the physical condition, and its severity is largely determined by genetic factors. Therefore, if a hornet bite does happen, you need to carefully monitor the symptoms that appear and your condition in general.


“Last year, two people were admitted to our hospital with anaphylactic shock after being stung by hornets. One was unconscious, the other was in a semi-faint state.In both cases, a single bite was the cause. In one patient, due to edema, the patency of the upper airways was impaired; despite our efforts and the use of serious drugs, he died of acute renal failure. The surviving patient admitted that he did not know if the hornets bite and tried to simply drive away the insect that had come to the smell of dried fish. ”

Tian Li, Huangdu

An allergic reaction of the body almost always follows the same “scenario”.However, do not forget that its intensity in different people is absolutely individual, therefore, how far the allergy will go in its manifestations depends specifically on the body of the victim himself. However, let’s highlight all the possible symptoms as they appear.

  1. The first sign of the body’s immune response is the actual inflammation at the site of the bite. It is typical for all stung.
  2. Then palpitations, headaches begin to appear, and an increase in body temperature is noted.
  3. Further, the person has enlarged lymph nodes, nausea and diarrhea may appear.
  4. In rare cases, renal failure develops.

If any of these symptoms appear, the victim should be taken to hospital immediately, as the risk of death is high without medical assistance. In the case of a high sensitivity of the body (which the bitten person may not know about), even a simple inflammation can quickly develop into more serious manifestations.


Mortality from anaphylactic shock after a hornet bite, even with timely treatment, is 15-20%.

Special attention should be focused on a very important fact: the severity of allergies increases with each new sting of any Hymenoptera. This means that if once a bee sting, for example, had allergic consequences, then more serious complications can be expected from a meeting with a hornet.

How to avoid a hornet bite

In order not to think about what will happen if a hornet bites, it is important to follow the rules of behavior that exclude such a possibility:

  • first of all – attention and caution, because insects can be anywhere;
  • no aggression;
  • The distance from the hornet nest is more than 5 meters.

It is important to remember that even a single hornet bite can provoke life-threatening conditions, sending the victim to a hospital bed.

The severity of the lesion depends on the type of attacker, the level of toxicity, the amount of poison released. And in order to protect yourself from the dangerous consequences of a bite, going into nature you need to remember about a special case of “first aid”.

Risk areas

You need to be especially careful about hornet bites, which fell on the connections of large arteries, vessels and lymph nodes.A sting stuck in such a part of the body throws poison directly into the bloodstream and thereby forces the body to respond to toxins and histamines very quickly.

Hand after being bitten

This cuts precious minutes for emergency support. If, for some reason, doctors are delayed, and there are no first aid funds at hand, this can have the most sad consequences for the victim.

Particularly distinguished:

  • areas of the armpits; 90,062 90,061 areas under the knees;
  • groin area;
  • head and neck;
  • face and eyes;
  • lips, inside of the mouth and larynx.

Information for allergy sufferers

Medicines for allergy sufferers
It is especially important to know what to do with a hornet bite at home, for people with a predisposition to allergic reactions. There are special rules of behavior for them:

  1. Be sure to always have an effective antiallergenic drug with you, long-acting drugs include: Cetrin, Claritin, Erius, Fexofenadine, etc.
  2. Have drugs for removing toxins in the medicine cabinet: activated or white coal, Polysorb, Smecta, Enterosgel, etc.d.
  3. Issue a special medical passport with possible reactions, where information about medications and their effects is entered to relieve negative symptoms.
  4. Inform family and friends about possible allergies to insect bites or other types of illness.

In order to properly deal with insect bites, you need to clearly know what not to do:

  • rub the bitten area or press on it;
  • try to squeeze out the poison;
  • to cauterize or warm the wound and the surrounding area;
  • smear the bite site with iodine or brilliant green;

symptoms and first aid for an insect attack

With the arrival of heat, not only plants awaken, but also various insects, the bites of which can provoke serious complications and even death in humans.And one of the most dangerous is hornet bite .

Hornet bites are dangerous to human health and life. In view of this, it is important to know how to determine the attack and provide timely assistance to the person attacked by this individual. We will talk about this, as well as what protective measures will help to avoid a dangerous meeting with insects.

Contents of article

Bite symptoms

Sometimes a hornet bite is fatal to humans. The reason is that these insects are capable of attacking several times in a row.Moreover, even a mosquito net used as protection will not protect against this dangerous representative of the fauna. Because the sprayed poison also penetrates the tissue.

You can determine the hornet attack by the following symptoms:

  • in the area of ​​the bite there is a sharp pain;
  • swelling and redness appear at the attack site;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • 90,061 fingers and toes become cold;

  • ears, neck area and lips become cyanotic;
  • increase in heart rate;
  • decrease in blood pressure;
  • speech difficulties.

Important: Literally a few people with strong immunity can withstand an attack by an individual without a bright manifestation of side effects.

In addition, the victim may experience severe dizziness and, in some cases, loss of consciousness. It is worth emphasizing that such symptoms are pronounced especially in those persons whose protective functions of the body are weakened.

When a hornet attacks an allergic person, its body becomes covered with spotting, a characteristic reaction of the body to the ingress of an allergen.In this case, every minute counts. Since the bite can provoke lightning-fast complications that cause death.

Potential consequences

Often, when bitten by a hornet, the consequences are very negative. A person starts the process of poisoning the body, expressed in symptoms such as:

  1. headache;
  2. excessive sweating;
  3. a sharp jump in temperature;
  4. 90,061 chills or fever;

  5. less often, convulsions are observed.

The effects of a bite may be blurry or, on the contrary, clearly visible. This moment depends on the following factors:

  • existing chronic pathologies;
  • 90,061 age of the victim;

  • whether there is a tendency to allergic manifestations;
  • how strong a person’s immunity is.

If the insect in question attacked the child, intoxication develops more rapidly and is accompanied by a significant deterioration in well-being.In addition, if, as a result of the ingress of poison, a person has a manifestation of urticaria, it is important to immediately provide first aid. Since there is a high risk of angioedema formation. This defect is considered especially dangerous, since laryngeal edema develops with lightning speed, as a result of which the patient has problems with normal breathing.

Also, due to the bite of the insect in question, a person may experience a heart rhythm failure, up to a complete stop of the heart muscle.Or develop anaphylactic shock. Both phenomena are considered extremely life-threatening for the patient. In view of this, after a hornet attack, it is required to take immediate measures to stabilize the victim’s condition.

The negative consequences differ depending on which part of the body the insect attacked. For example, the head and neck area, as well as the areas where the main arteries and blood vessels pass, are considered the most dangerous.

We suggest that you familiarize yourself with the hornet bite photo, which clearly demonstrates the pronounced symptoms and consequences of the attack.

First aid

If the representative in question attacked a person, it is important to know the emergency response mechanism, consisting of the following:

  1. areas of the body where the hornet has bitten must be carefully examined for sting fragments. If particles are identified, they are carefully removed with tweezers;
  2. the bite site is gently washed with water and antibacterial soap;
  3. further, the damaged area is wiped with a swab previously moistened with alcohol;
  4. after ice is applied to the bite site.

After emergency treatment, see a doctor. That being said, it is worth emphasizing. If the insect bite was single and there is no deterioration in the condition, it is not necessary to seek medical help, provided that the affected area of ​​the body is treated promptly and correctly.

A visit to the doctor should be mandatory if the following factors are present:

  • people felt a sharp deterioration and weakness;
  • swelling is observed in the affected area and severe discomfort worries;
  • manifestation of a strong allergic reaction;
  • 90,061 injured person under 16 years old;

  • attacks were made simultaneously by several individuals.

If a person is attacked by several hornets at the same time, the level of toxic substances in the biological fluid increases significantly. Accordingly, the process of poisoning takes on a pronounced character. In view of what, a competent medication approach is required.

We suggest watching video hornet bite, which describes in detail the provision of emergency care and ways to prevent complications.

What is strictly forbidden to do after a hornet bite

Often, after receiving a bite, some mistakes are made during the provision of assistance.So, that is strictly prohibited if this individual attacked:

  1. Drink alcoholic beverages. After the bite, the victim feels severe pain. It is generally accepted that alcohol dulls this condition. In fact, such drinks only contribute to the early spread of the poison throughout the body;
  2. Taking sleeping pills. If the attack occurred in the evening or at night, taking sleeping pills is contraindicated due to severe discomfort. These funds enhance the effect of the poison;
  3. Squeeze out poison.Such manipulation is absolutely ineffective. Because after the attack, the toxic substance instantly spreads in the body;
  4. Kill the insect that attacked the person. Doing this is strictly prohibited. The fact is that there may be a hornet nest nearby. And in case of death of an individual, it releases the so-called alarm pheromone, which encourages other insects to attack.

After the bite, the victim needs to rinse the wound, put ice on it and drink antiallergic medication.After these steps, it is recommended to seek medical help. Even if there are no negative side effects, a doctor’s examination will not be superfluous. Moreover, medical assistance is definitely needed if the injured person is elderly or young.

How to protect yourself from hornet bites

Unfortunately, everyone can become a victim of a hornet attack. After all, no one is immune from meeting this insect. But, if you follow some rules, the risks of becoming a victim of this individual will decrease several times. So, what will help protect yourself from meeting a hornet:

  1. Avoid the habitat of these insects as much as possible. More often, hornets’ nests are located in thickets and on abandoned wooden outbuildings;
  2. upon finding a nest of the individual in question, write a statement to the appropriate authority and not try to destroy these dangerous inhabitants on your own;
  3. seeing a hornet near, try not to wave your arms. Remember, these dangerous individuals often attack for no reason.And if you start to drive away the insect, the probability of an attack will increase several times;
  4. Mosquito and tick control products are not very effective against hornets. Therefore, their use is not advisable.

And in conclusion, we note that if the individual did attack, self-medication is strictly prohibited and life-threatening.