may have invaded Washington state, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to let them stay.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) reported on Friday that it located the first ever nest of Asian giant hornets (nicknamed murder hornets) found in the US. The nest was spotted in a tree cavity near Blaine, Washington, after entomologists trapped, tagged and tracked a live Asian giant hornet back to its nest.
The WSDA plans to attempt an eradication of the nest on Saturday. Initial plans to eliminate the nest on Friday got postponed due to bad weather.
The successful detection of a nest comes after a WSDA trapper on Wednesday collected two live murder hornets caught in a new type of trap the agency placed in the area. Two more live hornets were found in another trap on Thursday, the same day WSDA staff tagged the previously trapped hornets with radio trackers and were able to follow one back to its nest.
Entomologists discovered the murder hornets’ nest inside the cavity of a tree located on private property. While murder hornets normally nest in the ground, they can sometimes be found nesting in dead trees. Dozens of the murder hornets were spotted around the tree.
The WSDA has been activelysince the insects first showed up. The first confirmed detection of an Asian giant hornet in Washington happened in December 2019, and the first hornet trapped in July of this year.
Asian giant hornets are a dangerous invasive pest not native to the US, but they are the world’s largest hornet as well as a predator of honey bees and other insects.
A small group of murder hornets canin a matter of hours.
Entomologists and citizen scientists have been diligently tracking sightings of the hornet in an ongoing effort to find nests to eliminate them.