#childsafety | How To Protect Small Children

With wingspans stretching over three inches, they can strike immediate fear in unsuspecting families.

The first giant Asian green hornet nest in the United States has been found on private property in Blaine, Washington, officials there have announced. The Washington State Department of Agriculture said that it was found in the cavity of a tree near a residence.

Four of the winged creatures, terrifyingly referred to as “Murder Hornets”, were discovered earlier that day. The WSDA attached radio trackers to three and were able follow them when they returned to their nest where “dozens” were seen entering and exiting. Normally, this species lives in the ground but, according to the department, they occasionally nest in dead trees as well.

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The horror movie-esque Murder Hornets may have gone mainstream in 2020, but they actually were first spotted on U.S. soil in 2019 around Blaine. Located near the Canadian border, the town has been on high alert for them ever since and today’s announcement reignites those curiosities and fears.

Asian Green Hornet Nest
Via Washington State Department of Agriculture

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Despite their clever nickname, Asian green hornets pose little risk to humans regardless of their menacing appearance. With wingspans stretching over three inches, they can strike immediate fear in unsuspecting families. Most experts agree, however, that these flying monsters typically show no interest in people unless they or their nests are threatened. If so, multiple stings from their venom can prove deadly. While knowing that might be comforting for grown ups with no intention of declaring war on a pack of wild hornets, those with children have a sense of dread that is understandable.

The ways around these risks are actually routine for any flying insects that sting. Be sure to check around the house and yard for any nests and have a professional remove them once discovered. Take care when eating outdoors and make sure to stay away from garbage. Most importantly of all, be aware of personal allergies. If a child is allergic to stings of any kind, don’t allow them to play outside unsupervised during months when hornets, bees, and other threats are active. Even a dead hornet can sting if it is stepped upon. So it is urged that, in months like these, shoes are worn at all times when outdoors.

If confronted by a hornet, do not swat or run. For children, that lesson could be difficult to follow, but knowledge is power. While it might go against our basic instincts, flailing at a stinging insect could cause a sense of panic in the animal, creating a volatile situation from one that could have been uneventful.

Perhaps the most interesting piece of advice that experts give to avoid stings – watch what you wear. Surprisingly, bright colors and floral patterns are known to attract bees, hornets, and other winged insects. So ease up on the bright orange flower shirts and put your kid in a pair of shoes. Between that and a little careful preparation, you should get along just fine with Murder Hornets. Still, that name…yikes.

NEXT: The Diabolical Ironclad Beetle: A Concern For Your Toddlers?

Sources: KGW 8, HealthyChildren.org

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