Common Arkansas bug easy to confuse with “murder hornet”

Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 5:33 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A common bug in Arkansas could have some worried about murder hornets entering the state.

Jon Zawislak with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture says a mostly innocent bug is being labeled as a murder hornet.

The cicada killer wasp shared a similar design as a murder hornet, but the killer wasp serves an essential role in Arkansas agriculture.

“The cicada killer wasps are actually very beneficial because they prey on cicadas, which can cause damage to young trees.”

According to Zawislak, seeing a murder hornet in Arkansas is not impossible, but it would be extremely rare, as the hornets are contained in a small part of the Pacific Northwest.

“They have not been found anywhere close to Arkansas. Their range has been restricted to a small portion of Washington State and the Canadian border.”

He said Arkansans need to be respectful to the killer-wasps, as they are usually non-violent unless they’re invoked.

If you believe you’ve spotted a murder hornet inside the state of Arkansas, you are urged to contact your county extension agent.

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