The world’s largest species of hornet invaded Washington state in December. Now, seven months later, state officials have finally managed to catch one of the “murder hornets” — but they have less than two months to catch the rest before mating season begins and the species has a chance to grow.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture announced on Friday that it captured its first Asian giant hornet on July 14 in a bottle trap near Birch Bay in Whatcom County. A lab confirmed the hornet as part of the invasive species on July 29. the “murder hornets”
This was the first time the state found a murder hornet in a trap, rather than in the environment, a WSDA press release said. There have been five prior confirmed sightings of the hornet in the state. Sven Spichiger, managing entomologist for the state department, said the finding is “encouraging” because they now know the traps work.
“But it also means we have work to do,” Spichiger said.