WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
State News

"Murder Hornets" Not In Florida

Close up of a dead Asian giant hornet. It has spiky jaws, antennae, and big eyes. Its limbs are splayed out like it's trying to get away. The bug is being held between the fingers of a man.
Elaine Thompson
Pool AP Photo
Washington State Department of Agriculture entomologist Chris Looney displays a dead Asian giant hornet, a sample brought in from Japan for research, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The new Asian hornets that have been found in Washington state may be deadly to honeybees, but bug experts say the Asian giant hornet is not a big threat to people.

Floridians can check one thing off their worry list. The state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says there’s no evidence so-called “murder hornets” have landed in Florida. This statement comes after several sightings were reported to the department.

The Asian giant hornet, also known as “murder hornet,” is not in Florida. Reports of these insects are often the result of misidentification, says the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It has released a guide (shown below) on how to tell Florida native hornets and Asian giant hornets apart. The latter is the world’s largest species of hornet. According to the department, they rarely attack people or pets. People can report sightings by emailing or by calling 1-888-397-1517.

The guide displays the following information: The actual size of an Asian giant hornet is 33 - 55 mm. It has a social nest of up to 3,000 cells. The Eastern Cicada Killer is 30 - 50 mm. It has a solitary nest up to one cell. The Bald Faced Hornet is 15 - 25 mm. It has a social nest of up to 700 cells. The Queen Yellow Jacket is 12 - 23 mm. It also has a social nest.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services released this guide on how to quickly identify native species of hornet and how that compares to the Asian giant hornet.