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New confirmed sightings of Asian giant hornets in northwest Whatcom County

2 Asian giant hornet specimens found in Blaine, WA alongside a common yellow jacket wasp (September 2020). Source: Washington State Department of Agriculture
2 Asian giant hornet specimens found in Blaine, WA alongside a common yellow jacket wasp (September 2020). Source: Washington State Department of Agriculture

Today, September 28th, officials with Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) report 3 more confirmed sightings of Asian giant hornets. All 3 occurred in the area of Burk Road in east Blaine according to the announcement.

2 specimens were collected but a 3rd was thrown away after being found dead on a porch. WSDA officials said they were seen attacking a wasp nest as seen in the photo below.

Asian giant hornet seen attacking a wasp nest in Blaine, WA (September 2020). Source: Washington State Department of Agriculture

These confirmed sightings bring the total number of Asian giant hornets detected in the state to 12 – all in Whatcom County.

The last confirmed sightings were reported in mid-August.

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DateCityType# reported# trapped
09/30/19BlaineWorker1 
10/22/19BlaineWorker1 
12/08/19BlaineWorker1 
05/27/20CusterQueen, mated1 
06/06/20BellinghamQueen, unknown1 
07/14/20Birch BayQueen, unmated 1
07/29/20CusterMale 1
08/18/20Birch BayUnknown1 
08/19/20Birch BayWorker 1
Confirmed Asian giant hornet detections in Washington state as of August 2020. Source: Washington State Department of Agriculture
Locations of confirmed Asian giant hornet sightings (diamond icons indicate trapping, circles indicate visual detections) as of August 2020.  Source: Washington State Department of Agriculture

Volunteers, WSDA and supporting agencies have placed over 2,000 Asian giant hornet bottle traps around Washington state and have been submitting trap contents for evaluation and, when appropriate, lab confirmation, weekly since the spring. WSDA officials say the program will continue to October 31st.

The process of setting live traps began a month ago in order to capture Asian giant hornets live and place radio tracking devices on them. Once equipped with a tracker, captured hornets would be let back into the wild with the hope of tracking them back to their nest(s). If WSDA is able to locate a nest, the agency will eradicate it, officials said.

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