'Murder Hornet' Caught Alive for the First Time in Washington State

Asian hornet captured in the Washington state

First'Murder Hornet Captured in Washington State

Almost four months after the murder hornet first appeared in the USA, researchers at the Washington State Department of Agriculture have trapped the irate insect for the first time in the state.

"Our response to this will be to inundate the area immediately surrounding that positive trap capture with additional traps that are created to capture the hornets alive", said Sven Spichiger, the managing entomologist for the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

"This is encouraging because it means we know that the traps work", Sven Spichiger, the department's managing entomologist, said in the statement.

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The Asian giant hornet specimen caught on July 14 was the first hornet to be detected in a trap rather than found in the environment as the state's five previous confirmed sightings were.

From late summer to early fall, these hornets go through a "slaughter phase" against bee hives, decapitating the adults and eating the larvae and pupae.

The state now plans to search for nests using infrared cameras and place additional traps that try to capture hornets alive. If things weren't exciting enough for you as we head into the weekend, and the first day of August, we thought we'd heat things up a bit with this latest report from KOIN 6. The hornet was identified during processing on July 29. Around mid-September, the queens will mate with male hornets and start reproducing new queens and workers, the department said. At the same time, they're proceeding cautiously, because these things are no joke.

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The Asian giant hornet has also been sighted in B.C. And I mean, really hurt. But one expert said the chances that the hornet will hurt humans is small. These aggressive hornets feed on insects, and it takes no more than a few dozen to tear apart a beehive. Once the agency finds the colonies, they'll destroy them. In addition to the hundreds of traps the agency's set, citizen scientists and other cooperators have joined the fight and placed over 1,300 home-made traps in the effort to eradicate these pests. If you're allergic to one, obviously, that can be really risky.

Also known as murder hornets, they are about the size of an average thumb and they have sharp, serrated jaws and stingers that can pierce through denim jeans.

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