First killer wasp nest found and destroyed in the US |...

First killer wasp nest found and destroyed in the US |...
First killer wasp nest found and destroyed in the US |...

The state Department of Agriculture spent weeks searching, arresting and using tracking devices to locate Asian giant wasps.

The insects were aspirated from a tree cavity. Special suits worn by the teams prevent the wasps’ 6mm stings from hurting workers, who also wore face shields because trapped wasps can spit painful poison into their eyes.

The tree will be cut to extract newborn wasps and find out if any queen has left the hive, scientists said. Authorities suspect that more nests may be in the area and will continue to search.

Despite the nickname and exaggeration that sparked fears in an already gloomy year, the world’s largest wasps kill at most a few dozen people a year in Asian countries, and experts say it is probably far less.

Meanwhile, hornets, wasps and bees commonly found in the United States kill an average of 62 people a year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The real threat from Asian giant wasps – which are 5 centimeters long – is the devastating attacks on bees, which are already under siege from problems such as mites, diseases, pesticides and food loss.

The invasive insect is usually found in China, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam and other Asian countries. The state of Washington and the Canadian province of British Columbia are the only places where wasps were found on the continent.

The Washington Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has been actively looking for Asian giant wasp nests since the first wasps were captured earlier this year.

The first confirmed detection of a giant Asian wasp in Washington was made in December 2019 and the first wasp was arrested in July this year. Several others were later captured, all in Whatcom County.

Asian giant wasps, an invasive pest not native to the United States, are the largest wasps in the world and predators of honey bees and other insects. A small group of Asian giant wasps can kill an entire hive in a matter of hours.

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