A team of entomologists in full-body protection vacuumed out Asian giant hornets out of a tree in Washington state, eradicating the first nest of the so-called murder hornets found in the United States.
The state’s agricultural department said it had spent weeks searching for and trapping the hornets, which attack honeybee hives and also could pose a threat to humans, because they can sting repeatedly with venom that is stronger than a honeybee’s. The state’s entomologists succeeded by attaching radio trackers to three hornets they had trapped earlier in the week, one of which they followed to the nest, located in a tree near Blaine, Washington.
They returned to make the extraction. “Got ‘em. Vacuumed out several #AsianGiantHornets from a tree cavity near Blaine this morning,” the agriculture department said on Twitter. The stinging hornet, the world’s largest, can grow as large as 2-1/2 inches (6.4 cm) in length and is native to Southeast Asia, China and Taiwan. It was first discovered in the United States in December by a homeowner in Blaine.