It was around four months back that the murder hornet initially appeared in the United States. Now, researchers at the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) have claimed to have trapped a murder hornet for the first time in the country.
Murder Hornet Trapped
In a recent statement issued by the Washington Department of Agriculture, it was revealed that the murder hornet was captured on July 14 in a trap set by the authorities. After conducting tests on the irate insect, on July 29, researchers concluded that this trapped insect is murder hornet.
"The hornet was found in a WSDA trap set near Birch Bay in Whatcom County. WSDA trappers checked the bottle trap on July 14 and submitted the contents for processing at WSDA's entomology lab. The hornet was identified during processing on July 29. This was the first hornet to be detected in a trap, rather than found in the environment as the state's five previous confirmed sightings were,'' said WSDA.
Sven Spichiger, managing entomologist for the department revealed that the new development indicates that it is proof of the effectiveness of this trap. Spichiger also added that more research should be done to determine whether the captured hornet is a worker or a queen. "This is encouraging because it means we know that the traps work. But it also means we have work to do," said Spichiger.
Hunt for Nests Continues
WSDA revealed that they are now hunting for nests of these hornets using infrared cameras. According to WSDA, more than 1,300 traps have been set in the state.
"WSDA hopes to find and destroy the nest by mid-September before the colony would begin creating new reproducing queens and drones. 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," said WSDA.
Murder hornets, also known as Asian hornets are significantly larger and nastier when compared to other hornets. According to experts, these murder hornets are responsible for killing more than 50 people a year in Japan.