Murder hornets made headlines in late 2019 and again in late 2020 when they were discovered in the US state of Washington. At the time, the world was also facing the COVID-19 pandemic and the hornets were just the icing on the cake.
Now, as the Delta variant surges around the world and is threatening a second lock-down, a similarity to the first wave of COVID is popping back up: murder hornets.
Murder hornets, also known as Asian giant hornets, are native to Japan, China, and other areas in Asia. However, they’ve now been found in the state of Washington…again.
According to Gizmodo, the Washington State Department of Agriculture recently announced that a murder hornet was spotted near Blaine, Washington on August 11, 2021. It’s the first murder hornet discovered in the country this year.
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The WSDA disposed of a murder hornet nest back in October near the area where the live specimen was discovered this year.
WSDA entomologist Sven Spichiger said in a news release, “This hornet is exhibiting the same behavior we saw last year—attacking paper wasp nests.”
He went on to say that those with paper wasps on their property should keep an eye on them and make sure there are no Asian giant hornets nearby and report any if you see them.
Officials are hoping to trap a live hornet and follow it to the nest so they can dispose of it like they did in 2020.
Murder hornets can be deadly and they kill up to 50 people per year, according to the New York Times.
Beyond their threat to humans, the Asian giant hornets are also a threat to local bee populations. Just a few hornets can destroy a honeybee hive in a matter of hours.
If you see a murder hornet in Washington state, you can report it here.Whizzco