Dangerous two-inch long insects known as “murder hornets”, or Asian giant hornets, have been found in Washington state.
ABC News said the first sighting of the hornet in the U.S. was December 2019 when the state Department of Agriculture verified two reports near Blaine, Washington.
According to the New York Times these hornets kill up to 50 people a year in Japan as well as mass amounts of honey bees.
Writer for Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences Seth Truscott said, “Their stings are big and painful, with a potent neurotoxin. Multiple stings can kill humans, even if they are not allergic.”
While these murder hornets do not typically go after humans, their stingers can still make their way through a protective beekeeper uniform the WSDA said according to CBS News.
Washington state is already taking precautions. “The state Department of Agriculture will begin trapping queens this spring, with a focus on Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, and Island counties,” said ABC News.