Researchers out of China and California believe sexual attraction may be the answer to slowing the spread of the world’s largest hornet.
Dubbed “murder hornets” for their ability to decapitate bees, the Asian giant hornets have been steadily making their way into the U.S. and Canada, including numerous sightings in B.C., in recent years.
So far, efforts to subdue their spread have focused on physically removing their nests, but a report released in March suggests a new method may be on the rise.
Research by a group of international scientists point to harnessing virgin queen hornet’s sex pheromones as the key. In several experiments, the team collected the pheromones off the queens and placed them into “sex traps,” capturing thousands of male Asian giant hornets and preventing them from mating. No female hornets were every tricked into the traps, according to the report.
The research is preliminary, but the scientists behind it are suggesting immediate further testing of their method. They are also working to identify more of the sex pheromone components, to perfect their sex trap mixture.