Scientists Capture First Murder Hornet in Washington State
by Nora McGreevy/Smithsonianmag.com
The Washington State Department of Agriculture trapped its first Asian giant hornet in July near Birch Bay, the agency announced in a statement. As their name implies, the insects are native to Asia, but they made headlines this year when they were first spotted in one Washington county.
Researchers have spent the last few months setting traps around the state in an attempt to curtail the invasive species’ spread. This hornet was discovered in a WSDA trap on July 14 and identified on July 29, per the statement.
Just five hornets have been officially sighted in the state, and this one is the first hornet to be trapped by scientists, report Harmeet Kaur and Konstantin Toropin for CNN.
“This is encouraging because it means we know that the traps work,” says Sven Spichiger, an entomologist with the WSDA, in the statement. “But it also means we have work to do.”