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Critically Speaking

May 19, 2021

We’ve been hearing more and more in the news about murder hornets, but we haven’t been hearing too much about the details of these insects. Where did they come from? Who do they kill? Where do they live? How big are they? What are the risks of these murder hornets? In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Ed Vargo discuss these questions and more. Bees, wasps, and hornets are all part of the same insect order, hymenoptera, but there are thousands of different species, both social and solitary of these insects. Dr. Vargo breaks down some of the differences and talks about the risks of the murder hornets and what we can do against them. 


 Key Takeaways:

  • Solitary wasps tend to be non-aggressive, they want to be left alone. Social wasps, that live in colonies, can be more aggressive as they are protecting their nests. All hornets are social and live in colonies. 
  • Unless you are very allergic, it takes 30-50 stings to kill a human being. 
  • While it is unlikely we will be able to eradicate the murder hornets in North America, by making ourselves aware, we might be able to slow their spread. 


"All wasps are predators that feed their brood, the developing larvae, prey, usually in the form of arthropods. They go out and they hunt, and they kill and eat." —  Dr. Ed Vargo


Connect with Dr. Ed Vargo:

Professional Bio: Texas A&M University: Urban and Structural Entomology Program at Texas A&M University  


Connect with Therese:


Twitter: @CritiSpeak




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