Another Asian giant hornet found in northwestern Washington

Another Asian giant hornet found in northwestern Washington”

The Asian giant hornet of Japan and Southeast Asia-dubbed the "murder hornet" by at least one Japanese researcher, perhaps owing to a foible of translation-was seen in North America for the first time in 2019.

One of the new sightings occurred earlier this week when a resident spotted a large dead insect on the side of the road in Custer, Washington, according to a statement from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA).

In detail, the woman lives in Langley, a city in southwestern British Columbia, which is miles away from the traps that officials had prepared in the United States to stem the spread of this invasive species.

"This particular insect has acquired a larger distribution area at this time than we had thought", Paul van Westendorp, a provincial beekeeper for British Columbia, told the newspaper.

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has developed response guidelines that include several options for eradicating the Asian giant hornet should additional hornets be detected in Washington State".

The state has urged people, and especially beekepers, to keep an eye out for the Asian giant hornet and have launched an app to help report any sightings.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) reported on Friday the first confirmed sighting of an Asian giant hornet in the state in 2020.

The confirmed siting follows another on May 15 in British Columbia near Langley. As Floyd Shockley, the entomology collections manager at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History pointed out when news of the hornet's arrival first circulated, "more people die of honey bee stings in the USA than die annually, globally, from these hornets".

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The Asian giant hornet is the world's largest hornet, and a unsafe predator of honey bees, able to destroy an entire hive in a matter of hours.

By Thursday, entomologists confirmed that the Custer woman was indeed right and the specimen was collected and submitted for testing.

The state of Washington received the first report of an Asian giant hornet last December from a resident near Blaine and later learned of another specimen in the area which Washington State University scientists had collected.

"This is truly a collaborative effort", said Sven Spichiger, the managing entomologist for WSDA's Pest Program.

If you are allergic to bee or wasp stings, do not approach or attempt to trap the giant hornets. This summer, it will set up traps in 330 more sites. "July is when we would be more likely to be catching workers".

The hornets usually don't target people unless their nests are disturbed, but they do pose a threat to those with bee sting allergies.

A woman killed the insect at her home, roughly eight miles away from where two dead giant hornets were first found late past year near Blaine, Washington, the Times reports. Their venom can cause "severe pain, necrosis and in rare cases, even death".

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