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Asian Giant Hornet

General Information

The Asian Giant Hornet (AGH) (Vespa mandarinia) was first confirmed in North America in September 2019, when it was found in Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It was then reported and confirmed in Washington state in December 2019. Since then, no other sightings of the AGH have been confirmed in the U.S., including anywhere in Ohio.

Asian Giant Hornet 
AGH is the world's largest hornet with a body length of 1.5 – 2" and a wingspan from 1.5 – 3". Two of its most notable features are its large orange or orangish-yellow head and distinct orangish-yellow and reddish-brown bands on its abdomen. These hornets live underground in large colonies and may easily be confused with the European Hornets (V. crabro) and native Eastern Cicada Killer wasps (Sphecius speciosus). It should also be noted that some types of bees, such as the bumble bee (Bombus spp.), can appear quite large and also live in underground nests. They can be easily identified though, as bees will appear furry and AGH have little to no hair.

AGH Behavior
AGH are not particularly hostile towards humans, pets, or large animals, although they will defend their nests if threatened. The primary threat of the AGH is to other insects, especially honey bees. AGH attack and destroy entire honey bee colonies. A few hornets can destroy a colony in a few hours by biting off the honey bees’ heads and feeding on the honey bee larvae and pupae. While AGH may not be seen around their own nests, piles of dead honey bees found outside the hive may indicate an AGH attack.

Reporting
The public is encouraged to report possible sightings of the AGH in Ohio, however it is important to note that if an official confirmation is to be made, it must be done by the USDA or the Ohio Department of Agriculture using a captured specimen. No official confirmation has yet been made in Ohio. 

Please do not capture or kill insects for reporting purposes, unless you are confident it is an AGH. Photographs of the hornet or its damage can be used to help rule out look-alike insects prior to specimen collection.

There are several ways to report suspected sightings in Ohio. Reporting a sighting by phone is discouraged, as a photo of the suspected pest or its damage is more useful than a verbal description. 

  • Report using the Ohio Asian Giant Hornet Reporting Tool, found at the top of this page
  • Email plantpest@agri.ohio.gov
    • If reporting by email, please include the following information:
      • Your name and contact information
      • The location of the sighting/attack
      • Date of sighting/attack
      • Photograph of the hornet or damage (required)
      • Description of the hive loss/damage 

If the suspected sighting is NOT in the state of Ohio, please submit the report to your state's department of agriculture.

Report a Suspected Infestation

If the form is taking a long time to load, you may also access the form directly here: https://arcg.is/0TPmGv

You may also contact the ODA Plant Pest Control section directly at plantpest@agri.ohio.gov