First 'Murder Hornet' Nest In U.S. Is Found In Washington State

Yolanda Curtis
October 24, 2020

The first Asian giant hornet, or "murder hornet, " nest in the United States has been found in Washington state, according to entomologists from the state Department of Agriculture.

Asian giant hornets are a risky invasive pest not native to the USA, but they are the world's largest hornet as well as a predator of honey bees and other insects.

The two-inch insects, dubbed "murder hornets" due to their strong sting that can be fatal to some humans, especially after repeated stings, were first spotted in the USA in December 2019 when the Washington State Department of Agriculture verified two reported sightings near Blaine.

The WSDA notes the entomologists attached radio tracking devices to three hornets, leading them to the nest on Thursday evening.

The real threat from Asian giant hornets - which are 2 inches (5 centimeters) long - is their devastating attacks on honeybees, which are already under siege from problems like mites, diseases, pesticides and loss of food.


Agricultural officials in Washington had been searching for the murder hornets' home for weeks.

The agency said its team observed "dozens" of hornets entering and exiting the tree.

It plans to try to eradicate the nest on Saturday, after poor weather forced it to delay plans to dismantle it Friday, it said.

The nest is inside the cavity of a tree located on private property near an area cleared for a residential home, WSDA said.

In this October 7, 2020, photo provided by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, a live Asian giant hornet with a tracking device affixed to it sits on an apple in a tree where it was placed, near Blaine, Wash.


The nest was found after scientists trapped some of the insects and tied tiny radio trackers to them using dental floss.

Beekeepers in Washington have lived in terror of the invasive giant hornets since their discovery was first reported in Washington state in late 2019. You know, the terrifyingly large Asian giant hornets that are threatening to wipe out the North American bee population?

Since then, 20 hornets have been caught in Whatcom County, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

The invasive insect is normally found in China, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam and other Asian countries.

Two nests were also discovered in British Columbia.


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