The scientist charged with vacuuming up a nest of “murder hornets” has said that he feared permanent nerve damage from squirted venom over their toxic stinger.
Chris Looney, an entomologist with the Washington state department of agriculture, “I was more worried about getting permanent nerve damage in the eye from the squirted venom than being stung.”
“They are pretty intimidating, even for an inch-and-a-half insect. They are big and loud and I know it would hurt very badly if I get stung. They give me the willies,” he added.
Asian giant hornets have a long, toxic stinger that can cause renal failure and death. Dozens of people in Japan have been killed in this way.
Members of the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s (WSDA) Pest Program returned on last Wednesday to remove a portion of the tree where the wasps had been nesting.