Good News, You Probably Didn’t Find A Murder Hornet In Your Utica Backyard
Remember when Murder Hornets were a thing? Apparently, people across Utica, Rome, and Syracuse all thought they've seen them in their backyards this past summer. Good news, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is telling you that it's probably not a “murder hornet.”
Murder Hornet, or Asian giant hornet, you probably haven't seen any of them. According to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Asian giant hornets are a potential invasive species in the Western United States, but they have not been found in New York and are unlikely to make their way here any time soon.
The Asian giant hornet has many lookalike species, but some of the most common are the Eastern cicada killer and the European hornet."
Cicada's have once again ruined your 2021 plans. The Eastern cicada killer can be identified by its large, red eyes and its reddish thorax. They are virtually no danger to humans as they prefer to use their stingers solely on cicadas, and will only sting humans if handled roughly. Cicada killers dig nests in open areas, often with many nests in the same area.
The European hornet has distinctive teardrop-like markings on its abdomen and is roughly half the size of an Asian giant hornet. They live in colonies of 300+ workers and may aggressively defend their nests. If you have a nuisance European hornet nest near your home, always use professional pest control services.
If you think you have found an Asian giant hornet in NY, please review identification materials at https://agriculture.ny.gov/plant-industry/asian-giant-hornet. If you still have suspicions after review, you can email photos and location information to Plants@agriculture.ny.gov"
So good news, no murder hornets.