“I smothered it with a pillow and then cut it in half with a knife,” recounted Mikale Chiasson, a Langley resident who discovered an insect that he suspected to be an Asian giant “murder hornet” inside his bedroom Friday morning.
Chiasson told the Langley Advance Times that he was talking to friends on his computer in his townhouse in Willowbrook when his friends told him they heard buzzing on the microphone.
“I looked down and saw a hornet about the size of my thumb,” he said. “I kind of panicked.”
Chiasson fled his room and compared what he saw with pictures of the large invasive insect on the internet.
The typical hornet is between 1.4 and 1.6 inches (3.5 to four centimeters) while queens are up to two inches (five centimetres).
The hornets have 1/4 inch stinger and can deliver a painful sting.
Chiasson said he called pest control before heading back into his bedroom, armed with a pillow and a knife.
“I had to push it against the window about three times and smother it,” he noted. “It took about three minutes to kill.”
To make certain that no harm would come to him, Chiasson chopped the twitching insect in half with his knife.
“I wanted to be sure,” Chiasson said.
Warren H. L. Wong, a Simon Fraser University faculty member an master in pest management, confirmed on Friday afternoon that what Chiasson saw was a bald faced hornet.
“They are common in B.C. – a common native insect – and not the suspected invasive hornet,” he told Black Press Media.
“Murder hornets” were officially found in Brookswood on Thursday, May 28 – the farthest east that the hornets have been found in B.C.
Individual hornets are not considered a threat to humans, pets, or livestock, but they can be a threat when their nests are disturbed – gaining their alarming nickname for their aggression towards honeybees.
There are fears they could attack local hives, which pollinate crops and wild plants.
“The way I distinguish the two wasps apart is based on pigmentation,” Wong explained. “The bald face hornets, Dolichovespula maculata, are typically white and black with white pigments on its face while the Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, is about half an inch to a full inch larger than our native wasps with a deeper orange colour.”
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