hunt resumes for Asian hornets

The flurry of activity last summer and early fall over the Giant Asian, or 'murder' hornets in WA state is set to resume.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture reports the predatory Asian Hornets, which can grow up to 2 inches, are still believed to be confined to Whatcom County; specifically the town of Blaine, about 12-15 miles Northwest of Bellingham. Blaine is just across the border from Canada.

Giant Asian Murder hornets are called as such because they attack bee hives in a predatory fashion, and are known to cause significant damage to the enviornment.  It is not known specifically how they ended up in Vancouver B.C. in 2019, but in 2020 some were spotted in Blaine just over the border.

Last fall, a giant nest was discovered and completely destroyed in Whatcom County, but officials believe based upon behaviors or reports there are more nests in the town. Work has already begun to locate and destroy them, as they will not really 'wake up' until probably April according to state officials.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture believes based upon reports of where they've been seen, they may also be in the Birch Bay area.

Commonly found in Asia, from Japan to China, to other areas, Asian 'murder' hornets feed on large insect populations. They prefer forest or low mountain areas; but stay away from plains and high altitudes.

No they don't kill you. Their stings are painful, but not considered fatal for normal healthy people. Also, the males don't have stingers.

But of course the media jumped all over it and so did the meme makers. WSDA is working now to track, locate and destroy the nests in the extreme Northwest Corner of the state; before the fertilized queens 'wake up' and the process starts over.

Again, the primary fear of them is the damage they would do the the environment by killing bees and other useful insects.

Dating back to last year, outside of Whatcom County- Blaine, some 450 traps set around the region have come up empty, which is good news.

If you get stung by one of these, yes, it is very painful. But rather different from these other medical quirks. 


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