Warmer weather and international trade are introducing these thumb-sized hornets to new habitats around the globe. They’re already in Europe. Next stop? Maybe a shrub or old tree stump near your home!
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In recent years, Vespa m. populations have exploded in parts of China, where 42 people died and more than 1,600 were injured from hornet attacks in 2013, alone.
Attracted by human sweat, and disturbed by human activity (particularly running), the hornets vigorously defend their territory, chasing people up to 600 feet and stinging them multiple times with their very toxic venom that can cause: “Anaphylactic shock and renal failure. One of the victims . . . said she has spent two months in a hospital undergoing 13 dialysis treatments. . . . She has 200 stiches, but still cannot move her legs. She told . . . a news agency . . . ‘They hit right at my head and covered my legs.