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

Murder Hornet
Courtesy Washington State Department of Agriculture

SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington State University researchers are teaming up with the State Department of Agriculture to find and eradicate a potentially lethal hornet that’s invaded Washington. 

The Asian giant hornet measures roughly two inches long and packs a particularly painful sting, which can be lethal to humans in some cases, according to Seth Truscott with WSU’s College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences. 

Even more worrisome, Tuscott says, is the hornet’s taste for honey bees. 

According to WSU, it’s still unclear how the hornet arrived in the U.S., but there were multiple sightings in Washington late last year. 

The hornet’s hibernation typically ends in April, meaning it could be a matter of time before more are spotted. 

So, a team of WSU researchers are setting out to find them- and keep them from depleting the state’s honey bee population. 

Part of that process involves informing the public, and making sure people know what to look out for and how to stay safe. 

WSDA Pest Program scientists will begin tracking down the queens this spring, starting in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, and Island counties, according to Truscott.

In the meantime, you can report a sighting by CLICKING HERE.

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