Washington state officials have tracked down the first so-called “murder hornet” nest on U.S. soil.
The Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarina) nest was found in Blaine, Wash., just a few kilometres south of the British Columbia border.
Officials on both sides of the border are worried about the hornets, which are known to have a voracious appetite and are capable of wiping out entire colonies of honey bees.
Read more: Two more ‘murder hornets’ found just 13 km from B.C. border
Staff with the Washington State Department of Agriculture said Friday they’d used a high-tech solution to track the insects back to their home.
Entomologists have spent months trying to capture live hornets, then attach tiny micro-transmitters on them.
That approach finally paid off with the live capture of four live hornets this week, three of which were fitted with the trackers.
On Thursday, officials were finally able to follow one of the bugs home to a nest in the cavity of a tree on a residential property.
Read more: ‘Murder hornet’: Asian invader is death on wings for bees in Canada, U.S.
Crews plan to return to the property on Saturday and eradicate the colony.
Asian giant hornets were first spotted in B.C. last September, when a nest was found and destroyed in Nanaimo.
Anyone who sees one of the insects is urged to immediately contact the Invasive Species Council of B.C. at 1-888-933-3722.
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