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Crews eradicate ‘murder hornets’ in Whatcom County

Like a scene from a horror movie, crews from the WSDA and USDA gathered in the predawn hours Saturday on a property in Whatcom County to eradicate what we’ve all come to know as the murder hornets.

Land owner describes ‘exciting’ hunt for ‘murder hornets’ nest

Whatcom County officials said a crew from the Discovery Channel was also on hand to document the entire affair.

The nest, located in the Blaine area, was in an old tree stump. Crews sealed it, vacuumed, and then injected it with carbon dioxide “to asphyxiate whatever remained in the cavity.”

Crews will eventually remove and dissect the entire nest for further study by entomologists.

The county thanked the property owners, Jamie and his family, “for being gracious hosts to the crew (and many curious neighbors).”

The Asian giant hornet is the world’s largest hornet at nearly two inches long, and a dangerous predator of honey bees, able to destroy an entire hive in a matter of hours. It’s not typically aggressive toward humans, but its sting can still pose a significant health threat.

State entomologists have been tracking the aptly-nicknamed “murder hornet” on Shelton’s property since late September. On Oct. 21, a trapper with the Washington State Department of Agriculture had two live Asian giant hornets caught in a new type of trap in the area. Two more hornets were found in another trap the morning of Oct. 22 when staff arrived to tag the previously trapped hornets and try to follow them back to a nest.

The WSDA has been actively searching for nests since the first confirmed detection of an Asian giant hornet in Washington was made in December 2019 and the first hornet trapped in July 2020. Several more were subsequently caught, all in Whatcom County.

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