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The first ‘murder hornet’ caught in Washington state



Scientists have been trying to trap invasive insects and prevent infestation since they were spotted in the state last year. More than two inches, horns get their nickname from their propensity to attack and kill bees and potentially people.

So far, five giant hornets have been officially spotted in the state. This is the first one found in a trap, according to a news release.
Invasive giant horns were noticed in the United States for the first time

Officials announced Friday that they identified the Asian giant hornet earlier this week from a trap gathered near Birch Bay on July 14th.

“This is encouraging because it means we know the traps work,” said Sven Spichiger, managing entomologist for the Washington Department of Agriculture (WSDA) in the news. “But it also means we have work to do.”

That work includes looking for nests using infrared cameras and setting up more traps, the news said. The state agriculture department plans to send special traps to catch the horns and keep them alive so they can be tagged and traced back to their colonies. Once the agency finds the colonies, they destroy them.

The hope is to find the nest by mid-September before the colony begins creating new breeding queens and drones, the statement said.

Scientists are not sure how these giant hornets native to Asia ended up in Washington state.

Among the possibilities are international container ships, purchases shipped to the United States, travelers visiting the United States or returning from another country, the state says on its website.
Washington state agricultural officials are urging beekeepers and residents to report any sightings of giant hornets. August and September are when they are likely to be spotted, according to the news release.

But it doesn’t come too close.


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