Oregon State University Extension Service

Northern giant hornets in Oregon?

Have residents of Arlington reported Asian giant hornet sightings?

Several of my co-workers at the solar-farm have seen a large dark orange hornet starting in July, much like the pictures on the Internet. Can one of your entomologists come and verify if we are seeing the Asian giant hornet?

Thanks for being vigilant; we rely on people like you and your co-workers to ensure we detect invasive insects and plants before they enter the state.

The common name which has been adopted for these hornets is the northern giant hornet. The northern giant hornet has not been detected outside of the very northwest tip of Washington. This does not mean it cannot establish in Oregon, but Arlington is far outside its known range. Also, these hornets are typically not spotted until later in the year, after the nest has had a time to grow. Finally, the hornet is far more likely to be found in forested areas than Arlington.

In addition, I have been getting reports of what appear to be hornets from east of the cascades about this time of year, for the past two years. We have a number of very large (but docile) wasps that start to pop up this time of year, particularly the western cicada killer (https://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/large-wasps-descend-on-central-oregon-in-search-of-cicadas/article_1b71b2ff-16dc-5c03-9177-94a2e79b0c6b.html).

Nevertheless, take a look through our Extension publication on the northern giant hornet (https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/em9297). Familiarize yourself with characteristics that set it apart from other large striped wasps (particularly, the yellow, rather than orange, head).

Here are some additional resources:

Thanks again for helping Oregon remain free of the northern giant hornet.

Source URL: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/ask-expert/featured/northern-giant-hornets-oregon