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First “murder hornet” caught in the state of Washington

Scientists have been trying to catch invasive insects and prevent infestation since they were first discovered in the state last year. The hornets are more than five centimeters long and are nicknamed because of their tendency to attack and kill honey bees and possibly humans.

So far, five giant hornets have been officially sighted in the state. According to a press release, this is the first to be found in a trap.
In the USA, invasive giant hornets were discovered for the first time

Officials announced on Friday that they identified the giant Asian hornet earlier this week using a trap that had been collected near Birch Bay on July 14.

“It’s encouraging because we know the traps are working,” said Sven Spichiger, senior entomologist at the Washington Department of Agriculture (WSDA), in the announcement. “But it also means we have work to do.”

This work includes finding nests with infrared cameras and setting up more traps, the announcement says. The state’s Department of Agriculture plans to use special traps that catch and keep the hornets alive so that they can be tagged and traced back to their colonies. As soon as the agency has found the colonies, they will be destroyed.

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

Scientists are unsure how these giant Asian hornets landed in Washington State.

Options include international container ships, purchases to the United States, travelers visiting the United States or returning from another country, the state’s website says.
Washington State Agriculture officials urge beekeepers and residents to report all sightings of the giant hornets. According to the press release, they are most likely to be seen in August and September.

But don’t get too close.

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