We all know that wasps are the most aggressive type of bees and due to anaphylactic shock, an allergic symptom caused by their sting, wasps can be fatal to humans. The venom can be released from the tip of their needle and that makes them a very dangerous type of creatures.

Even more dangerous than your normal wasp is the Asian Hornet and among the species, Japan’s Oosuzumebachi (giant suzume bachi) are considered the most aggressive of all and if you see one, you need to be very careful because it gets to a life and death matter if they feel threatened or you simply piss them off.

Did you know?

Hornets usually sting more than once and can attack you if you get close to their nest. They are very aggressive especially during the breeding season and their sizes are between 20 mm to 40 mm.

Suzume Bachi Hunters

Due to the threat they represent in Japan, jobs such as hornet hunters appeared and their main job is to dispose of the nests that are close to populated areas.

If there is a nest around your house, never try to take care of it by yourself, but ask professionals to do it because you need experience, proper equipment and is not safe to do it yourself.

Hunters in action

A while ago, on the TV Show called “Zawa Tsuku”, I got to see suzume bachi hunters in action for the first time. When I saw the title of the show, I got very interested to see how the hunters look like; for some reason I imagined lots of stern-looking men wearing protection clothes similar to astronaut suits because the hornets are very dangerous so they must need high quality utensils and wear, or at least, that’s what I thought.

To my surprise, the people that appeared in front of the TV were a few very kind-looking old men, with a wide smile, telling jokes and wearing short sleeves around the nest. When they had to start disposing of it, they got into a suit with protection all over their body, but nothing like the astronauts I imagined.

I admit I lack knowledge when it comes to wasps and their exterminators, therefore my not so accurate imagination after hearing of the hunters’ existence.

The old men had to dispose of a nest that was nearby a road where students and children usually walk by and after getting equipped, they started to dig in the ground closer to the nest and remove the weeds around.

The nest is usually underground, under trees, roofs or bridges and if you are around it, the hornets in charge of protecting it warn you by buzzing around and even start attacking you so you won’t get closer.

The same happened in this case, when some of the hornets even bumped into the camera very aggressively and even though I was home, safe, I got goose bumps when seeing it.

The TV crew seemed to be panicking, while the experienced old men weren’t fazed at all and simply went on with their job while explaining to the suzume bachi as if they could understand, that it’s their mistake to have made a nest in a place where people are passing by.

After removing the weeds, they got closer to the nest and finally got to remove it. When they got it out, everyone was amazed to see how big it was and after another exhausting job, they all went for lunch.

The hunters will appear once again in a 4 hours special on TV Asahi, so if you have the chance and understand Japanese I recommend watching it as it’s very educational and interesting.

How to not piss off the Giant Hornets

Lastly, here are some tips if you come to Japan, during the spring-autumn when Suzumebachi are the most active:

1. Don’t wear black clothes as they get very aggressive and attack when seeing black colored things moving around. Any other color (preferably bright colors), is fine, but white is the best option to opt for. I have black hair and so I won’t become a target, I tend to wear white hats or caps too, especially if I am somewhere surrounded by mountains or plan on going hiking.

2. The hornets are very sensitive to smell and sweat. Don’t wear perfume, make sure to wipe off your sweat and use an odorless deodorant.

3. Don’t make noise because they attack if you are loud.

4. Wear long sleeved for protection

5. After typhoons you should be careful because many of the hornets may have lost their home so you never know where they might be hiding

In case you encounter them, make sure to: Not run away! This is very important and together with remaining silent, you should stay still even though it is pretty scary, try to. Otherwise, the hornets will think of you as a threat, attack and run after you. If stung by one (let’s hope it never happens), cleanse it with water, squeeze the poison out (better carry a poison remover with you), cool it down and use antihistamine ointment.

You should also see a doctor and if it hurts very bad and feel very sick, call the ambulance immediately.

Hopefully, this article brought new information of how to protect yourself in case you encounter a hornet and also protect your house in case you have a nest nearby.

By - cinnamonellie.