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Source: US National Invasive Species Information Center

10/23/2020

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BLAINE – After weeks of trapping and searching, Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) entomologists have located an Asian giant hornet nest on a property in Blaine – the first ever such nest found in the U.S.
 
The agency plans to attempt an eradication of the nest on Saturday, Oct. 24. Initial plans to eliminate the nest today have been tabled due to the inclement weather.
 
The successful detection of a nest comes after a WSDA trapper collected two live Asian giant hornets on Oct. 21, caught in a new type of trap the agency had placed in the area. Two more hornets, also living, were found in another trap the morning of Oct. 22 when WSDA staff arrived in the area to tag the previously trapped hornets with radio trackers and follow one back to its nest.
 
The entomologists were able to attach radio trackers to three hornets, the second of which lead them to the discovery of the nest, found about 4 p.m. on Oct. 22.
 
The nest is inside the cavity of a tree located on private property near an area cleared for a residential home. While Asian giant hornets normally nest in the ground, they are occasionally found nesting in dead trees. Dozens of the hornets were seen entering and exiting the tree while the WSDA team was present.
 
The property owner has already provided permission for WSDA staff to eradicate the nest and remove the tree, if necessary.
 
WSDA has been actively searching for Asian giant hornet nests since the first such hornets were caught earlier this year. The first confirmed detection of an Asian giant hornet in Washington was made in December 2019 and the first hornet trapped in July of this year. Several more were subsequently caught, all in Whatcom County.
 
Using a network of traps, some set by WSDA staff and hundreds more placed by citizen scientists and other cooperators throughout the state, the entomologists have been diligently tracking sightings of the Asian giant hornet in an ongoing effort to find nests to eliminate them.
 
Asian giant hornets, an invasive pest not native to the U.S., are the world’s largest hornet and a predator of honey bees and other insects. A small group of Asian giant hornets can kill an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours.
 
Visit agr.wa.gov/hornets to learn more about Asian giant hornets and the state’s trapping and eradication project.
 
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Media advisory – Oct. 24 Update 

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The removal of the Asian giant hornet nest on Saturday, Oct. 24 appears to have been successful. The WSDA Pest Program vacuumed numerous specimens out of the nest located in a tree cavity near Blaine, Wash. A video and photos are available on our Facebook page. More details will be provided at a press conference to be held Monday, Oct. 26, when additional photos and video will also be made available to the press. No staff is available for interviews before the next news conference. To receive notification of our press conferences and news releases, please join our news release email list.
                                        
Members of the public can view our press conferences on our Facebook and YouTube pages.
 
Photos and videos from previous activities are made available in the folders linked below. 
 
Photos for media use.
 
Videos for media use.
 

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