Officials confirm 3 new sightings of Asian giant hornets

Male Asian Giant Hornet
Credit: WSDA

BLAINE, Wash. (AP) — Officials confirmed three new sightings of Asian giant hornets in Whatcom County, increasing to 12 the number that have been reported there.

The Bellingham Herald reports the total represents the first sightings of the hornets in Washington state and the U.S. since they were first spotted in Whatcom in 2019.

All three recent sightings were found near Burk Road, southeast of Blaine, in late September, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

RELATED: WSU researchers on the hunt for a potentially lethal hornet that’s invaded Washington

Traps will be set up in the area. The goal is to catch live Asian giant hornets in those traps, tag them and track them back to their colony to destroy them so the invasive pests don’t become established in Washington state.

Usually about the size of an adult thumb, the Asian giant hornet, or Vespa mandarinia, is the world’s largest hornet species. They are identifiable by their large yellow/orange heads.

RELATED: State traps first male Asian giant hornet

RELATED: Washington Dept. of Agriculture traps first Asian giant hornet