One enthusiastic owner is singing their praises, while others are screaming in terror.

Pet ownership can be a tricky thing in Japan. In large cities, most people live in rented apartments or condominiums, which means that even if your lease allows pets, it has to be an indoor one. The compact size of most residences means your pet has to be similarly small in stature, and with sudden overtime work being a regular part of professional life in Japan, a pet that will be OK on its own if you’re a couple hours later than usual coming home is also a plus.

With those criteria, a bird, fish, or turtle might seem like the ideal choice. But Japanese Twitter user @togenanafushi has a different recommendation: hornets.

While he’s an overall insect enthusiast, @togenanafushi says that hornets are the most enjoyable bugs he’s owned, citing his experiences cohabitating with black-tailed, Asian giant, and Japanese yellow hornets. He describes them as orderly and reliable pets who remember where their food is placed and sleep in the same spot every day, which is a definite advantage over pets that like to hold dominion over your living space by making their bed wherever they feel like it that particular day.

The obvious concern is that the hornets will sting their owner mercilessly, but @togenanafushi says this actually isn’t a problem. The hornets aren’t interested in stinging for stinging’s sake, and without a nest to protect, they’re not particularly aggressive unless somehow provoked. They’re even a somewhat functional pet, according to @togenanafushi, since they start buzzing around when the sun comes up, thus acting as a natural alarm clock and preventing him from ever oversleeping.

Nevertheless, most other Twitter users were more than a little surprised at his choice of animal companions, leaving comments such as:

“Wait…you can keep hornets as pets?”
“Wait…hornets sleep?”
“And they look cute doing it.”
“You’re so brave.”
“You’re crazy (and I mean that in a good way.”
“Hmmm…I’ve got pet carpenter bees right now, but maybe I should get some hornets too…”

Despite @togenanafushi’s recommendation, though, it’s probably a good idea to think long and hard before welcoming hornets into your home. Odds are their buzzing won’t make you very popular with your neighbors, and the insects will probably seriously freak out any guests you decide to have over. Still, @togenanafushi seems to feel the trade-offs are still worth it, and they’re probably a great way to get rid of door-to-door solicitors.

Source: Twitter/@togenanafushi via Jin
Top image: Wikipedia/NUMBER7isBEST