This year has had just about everything. Pandemics, wildfires, the threat of war, riots, and something known as murder hornets. Murder hornets? Well, kind of. Are these things here in our own backyard? Probably not.

Murder hornets (or the Asian Hornet, Japanese Hornet etc.), were spotted in Washington state in late 2019, causing some scientists to fear the invasive species would soon spread across North America. They can grow to the size of an adults' thumb and deliver a sting so painful that one entomologist described it to The New York Times as "like having red-hot thumbtacks" being driven into their flesh.

Vespa mandarinia, or Asian Giant Hornet (AGH), is an invasive pest from the tropical and temperate forests of eastern Asia. In the United States, it was first detected in Washington State in December 2019.

According to WROC, there have been a number of sightings of large hornets here in New York state. However, according to the Department of Agriculture, these other pests are actually European giant hornets, which are reportedly less aggressive than Asian hornets. The department says there have been no known sightings of Asian giant hornets in New York state.

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