Asian giant hornet caught in trap near Birch Bay

Washington traps its first ‘murder hornet’; state will use infrared cameras to search for nests

First 'Murder Hornet' Captured in Washington State

Sven Spichiger, managing entomologist for the state department, said the finding is "encouraging" because they now know the traps work.

Officials in Washington state are rushing to capture a unsafe species of invading "murder hornets" before they begin to mate and multiply at the end of summer.

"They are not 'murder hornets.' They are just hornets", Chris Looney, an entomologist with the state agriculture department said, in May. Officials identified the hornet at a lab on Wednesday after it had been trapped and sent for processing in mid-July.

The giant hornet was found in a department trap near Birch Bay in Whatcom County, a statement said.

The arrival of Asian Giant Hornets into the United States was first noted in early May, with scary viral videos of hornets eating mice and, vice versa, getting eaten by a praying mantis, spreading online and causing concerns among some Americans.

A live Asian giant hornet, known as a 'murder hornet, ' was trapped in Washington state this week. "But it also means we have work to do".

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.

According to the WSDA, "a few hornets can destroy a hive in a matter of hours".

WSDA officials aren't the only ones laying traps.

WSDA is hoping to find and destroy the nest by mid-September before the colony creates new reproducing queens and drones - the colony will only contain the queen and worker Asian giant hornets until new queens are reproduced.

Other than scientists, others have helped place over 1,300 traps.

"Those interested in trapping can still build and set traps on their own property", the WSDA continued.

Residents are most likely to see a giant hornet in August and September. "WSDA Pest Program staff will deploy special traps meant to trap hornets but keep them alive". Anyone who sees one is urged to report it and provide details and a photo if possible.

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