First Murder Hornet Trapped

Congratulations, Washington
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2020 8:39 AM CDT
Wash. Nabs Its First 'Murder Hornet'
This Dec. 30, 2019 photo shows a dead Asian giant hornet in a lab in Olympia, Wash. It is the world's largest hornet, a 2-inch long killer with an appetite for honey bees. Dubbed the "Murder Hornet," it has a sting that could be fatal to some humans.   (Quinlyn Baine/Washington State Department of Agriculture via AP)

(Newser) – Good news/terrifying news out of Washington state, which has officially trapped its first Asian giant hornet, popularly known as the murder hornet. As CNN reports, the state has had five sightings since last year, but the specimen found July 14 in Birch Bay is the first ever trapped. "This is encouraging because it means we know that the traps work," says Sven Spichiger, managing entomologist for Washington's Department of Agriculture. "But it also means we have work to do." The Ag Department plans to set more traps so it can capture live specimens, tag them, and track them back to their hives to destroy them. There's a bit of a race to destroy the species, which is considered invasive: Any colonies will likely start producing new reproducing queens and drones around mid-September. The hornets run more than 2 inches long, find honeybees tasty, are fond of attacking, and can be deadly to humans. (Read more murder hornets stories.)

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