Is That a Murder Hornet?
No, that’s not a murder hornet.
But you may have seen one of these four look-alikes that do live in Mississippi.
Periodic cicadas: These pests are large with orange and black bodies and large, clear wings, and they make a buzzing sound in flight. They occur intermittently in the East and Midwest. Three broods appear occasionally in Mississippi.
European hornets: Workers are about 1 inch long and queens are even larger. They are found mostly in north Mississippi. While they are uncommon, these hornets are spreading across the state. They also eat honey bees and can be minor pests in apiaries.
Cicada killers: These are actually wasps more closely related to mud daubers. But one could be mistaken for an Asian hornet because of its sheer size and similar coloring. They occur statewide.
Southern yellowjacket queens: They have large, orange and black bodies. The queens are much larger than the workers and are sometimes spotted in the spring as they search for places to build their nests.
Read our feature story, “MSU experts: no Asian hornets in Mississippi,” for more information about Asian giant hornets and Mississippi’s similar-looking flying insects.
To learn about all kinds of bees, wasps and other insects around your home lawn, refer to Extension Publication 2331, “Control of Insect Pests In and Around the Home Lawn.”
Even though the murder hornet does not occur in Mississippi, serious or even life-threatening allergic reactions may occur from stinging insects that do occur here, including bees, wasps, yellowjackets, and even some ants. Anyone with significant or unusual signs or symptoms resulting from a sting should seek medical attention.
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