Washington state identifies first trapped Asian giant hornet

Washington state identifies first trapped Asian giant hornet

The Asian giant hornet, the world's largest at 2 inches, can decimate entire hives of honeybees and deliver a painful sting to humans. Trappers checked the bottle trap on July 14 and submitted the contents for processing at WSDA's entomology lab, where it was identified as an Asian giant hornet during processing on July 29.

The department's next steps include using infrared cameras and additional traps to catch live hornet specimens and attempts to track them back to their colony in order to eradicate the colony, according to the statement.

This was the first time the state found a murder hornet in a trap, rather than in the environment, a WSDA press release said.

Experiences started filtering of sightings earlier this yr within the state prompting the Washington State Division of Agriculture to set traps.

How concerned should the United States be about "murder hornets"?

In Japan - the place they're most typical - homicide hornets kill round 50 individuals every year, the New York Occasions studies.

"This is encouraging because it means we know that the traps work", Sven Spichiger, managing entomologist for the department, said in a Friday news release.

"Nevertheless it additionally means now we have work to do". If located, they'll began the unsafe process of eradicating the massive insects.

The Asian giant hornet isn't especially unsafe to humans but can be devastating to native honey bee colonies. The state's agriculture department plans to deploy special traps that will catch the hornets and keep them alive so they can be tagged and tracked back to their colonies.

There has been a total of five confirmed sightings until now, all of which were in Whatcom County, and found by residents outside of traps.

The WSDA is hoping to find and destroy the nest by mid-September before the colony would begin creating new reproducing queens and drones.

The hornets are known to attack and destroy honeybee hives - a few hornets can destroy a hive in a matter of hours.

A WSDA web page dedicated to the hornets warns people to use extreme caution if they encounter a hornet or nest.

Should they continue to repopulate, scientists worry the hornets could decimate the honey bee population in the region.



Other news