Murder hornets will be ‘serious danger’ this spring, scientists warn

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Murder hornets will be ‘serious danger’ this spring, scientists warn

Scientists are warning that so-called murder hornets will present a “serious danger” this spring — and say they’re working to preven

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Scientists are warning that so-called murder hornets will present a “serious danger” this spring — and say they’re working to prevent the invasive species from becoming a permanent fixture in North America.

“This is not a species we want to tolerate here in the United States,” Sven-Erik Spichiger of the Washington state Department of Agriculture said. “The Asian giant hornet is not supposed to be here.”

Spichiger said they’re focused on eliminating as many nests as possible this spring.

“We may not get them all, but we will get as many as we can,” he said.

Paul van Westendorp of the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries said the insects risk causing harm to people as well as honeybees that pollinate crops.

“It’s an absolutely serious danger to our health and well-being. These are intimidating insects,” he said.

Wearing a protective suit, Washington state Department of Agriculture entomologist Chris Looney fills a tree cavity with carbon dioxide after vacuuming a nest of Asian giant hornets from it on Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Washington.
Wearing a protective suit, Washington state Department of Agriculture entomologist Chris Looney fills a tree cavity with carbon dioxide after vacuuming a nest of Asian giant hornets from it on Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Washington.
Elaine Thompson/AP

The scientists said efforts to eradicate the Asian giant hornets are mostly focused in Washington state’s Whatcom County and the nearby Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada, where they’ve been spotted in recent years.

As part of the battle against the hornets, thousands of traps will be set up to capture queens that are trying to establish nests.

Washington state officials will use orange juice and rice cooking wine in traps, while encouraging citizens to make their own using either orange juice or a brown sugar-based bait.

Sven Spichiger, Washington state Department of Agriculture managing entomologist, displays a canister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a nest in a tree behind him in Blaine, Washington, on Oct. 24, 2020.
Sven Spichiger, Washington state Department of Agriculture managing entomologist, displays a canister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a nest in a tree behind him in Blaine, Washington, on Oct. 24, 2020.
Elaine Thompson/AP

The Asian giant hornets — which are 2 inches long — were first confirmed to have arrived in Washington state in December 2019. 

With Post wires

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