First 'Murder Hornet' Trapped in Washington State

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 2, 2020

"This is encouraging because it means we know that the traps work", Sven Spichiger, managing entomologist for the department said. "Murder hornets" had never been seen in the USA until December when the WSDA verified four sighting in Washington.

A study shows that the hornet killed between 30 to 50 people in its native Japan each year. 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 hornet was found in a WSDA trap set near Birch Bay in Whatcom County.

While five "murder hornets" have been spotted in the United States to date, one insect has been captured by researchers, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA). "But it also means we have work to do".

Officials said they captured an Asian giant hornet in Whatcom County using a bottle trap on July 14, confirming a potentially unsafe invasion in the state, the Washington state Department of Agriculture announced Friday.

On top of searching for the hornets' nests with infrared cameras, WSDA's Pest Program will lay special traps that keep the hornets alive so they can be tagged and tracked back to their colony, which experts would then destroy.

"'Murder hornet' doesn't work, for a couple of reasons", Looney told CBS.

WSDA officials aren't the only ones laying traps.

There are between 400 and 500 traps in the Whatcom County area alone, with the public setting up an additional 1,000 traps.

The state department said it hopes to find and destroy the nest by mid-September before the colony breeds more queens and drones.

The department said it wants to contain the invasion before mid-September, when the queens begin to mate to produce a new crop of worker hornets, the statement said.

"They all start vibrating their flight muscles and they actually create so much heat in this process that they cook the hornet, and the carbon dioxide that's produced in the process also totally can suffocate the hornet as well", Ramsey said. Anyone who sees one is urged to report it and provide details and a photo if possible.

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