2020 is the gift that just keeps on giving.
The first “murder hornet” has been captured in Washington State. This came after warnings that the invasive species had made it’s way from Asia to U.S. shores. RedState reported on the initial news regarding the bug several months ago.
Over that time, there have been sightings, but researchers have now caught their own specimen and it’s pretty stinking terrifying.
Washington has trapped its first #AsianGiantHornet. Press conference will be live streamed on TVW at 10 a.m. Link to the press conference is in the news release. https://t.co/NGS7EfKmj3 pic.twitter.com/5ZHmhSde67
— WA St Dept of Agr (@WSDAgov) July 31, 2020
Yeah, that’s a two inch long hornet, and even then, it’s curled up somewhat. I bet they could squeeze another quarter inch out of it if they wanted to.
But it’s the comparison pictures that really show the difference between other species.
— WA St Dept of Agr (@WSDAgov) June 22, 2020
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) releases a second photo the Asian giant hornet that it caught last month in a trap. pic.twitter.com/uucc0YiMvc
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 1, 2020
The one that was caught was apparently not a queen, but also bigger than your average giant hornet. Hopefully, that’s not a trend.
I’m not a person normally scared of bugs. Having lived in the region I live for most of my life, I’m well acquainted with wasps, hornets, horse flies, etc. But knowing what a red wasp stinging you feels like, I can only imagine what having a stinger that size jabbed into one’s arm or neck does to a person. It can’t be pleasant.
The Daily Wire offers a few more details.
Sven Spichiger, managing entomologist for the department said, “This is encouraging because it means we know that the traps work, but it also means we have work to do.”
Officials say that their next steps are to search for nests using infrared cameras while continuing to place additional traps in the area, including special traps that are designed to keep the Asian giant hornets alive. Officials want to catch live specimens so they can be tagged and released with the hopes that they will lead officials to their nests, which will then be eradicated.
“WSDA hopes to find and destroy the nest by mid-September before the colony would begin creating new reproducing queens and drones,” the department added. “Until that time, the colony will only contain the queen and worker Asian giant hornets. Destroying the nest before new queens emerge and mate will prevent the spread of this invasive pest.”
They are using some serious technology to go after these things. Like many species from China, they are highly damaging to the ecosystem in the United States. In this specific case, they kill pollinators like honeybees, which are vital for our agricultural industry.
I guess it wasn’t enough to unleash a deadly pandemic on the world? China is gonna do China things I suppose. Let’s hope these researchers succeed and wipe these things out.