Deadly nest of Asian ‘killer hornets’ spotted in Washington as killer insect numbers may skyrocket
A nest of Asian “murderous hornets” has been discovered in Washington state amid fears the killer insect’s population may increase.
It comes less than two weeks after a deadly living hornet was first spotted this year in the state – with a small group of creatures capable of wiping out an entire bee hive within hours.
The nest was found in a rural area in eastern Blaine, just a quarter of a mile from where a live hornet was spotted attacking a paper wasp nest on August 11.
Members of the Washington State Department of Agriculture team captured and tagged three hornets with trackers, one of whom successfully led the team to the nest.
They are now working to eradicate the nest in the coming days
But there are fears that there are no more nests in the area, with the WSDA urging people to report any sightings.
Asian giant hornets, the largest hornets in the world, are not native to the United States and feed on already endangered honey bees, as well as other insects.
Killer creatures can use their sharp jaws to rip through human skin, and multiple stings are known to kill humans.
Scientists have warned for months that the killer species is a threat to public health.
Dr Samuel Ramsey told WUSA: “It’s a very big insect. The size of your thumb.
“He’s got these big, very sharp mandibles that are attached to these really big muscles that allow him to chew on a lot of different tissues.
“They can chew on the skin, and they have a really long stinger too.”
A small group of hornets can destroy a bee hive in just a few hours, while their poisonous venom can destroy human cells and send signals of constant pain to nerves.
The dangerous insects are known to kill up to 50 people a year in their home country, Japan.
They are over two inches long and can fly at speeds of 20 mph.
Hundreds of “murderous hornets” have been spotted in Washington state over the past year.
A nest, reportedly the size of a basketball, was discovered last October and contained nearly 500 insects.
Authorities quickly sealed the nest and believe it may have prevented 200 new ones from developing.
This latest nest discovery comes just months after the discovery of a hornet north of Seattle.
The predator was found on the lawn of a Snohomish County resident in June and experts believe the pest appeared to be from a previous season.