Washington State has First Live Sighting of a ‘Murder Hornet’ in 2021

Credit: Associated Press

For the second time this year, a “murder hornet” has been spotted in Washington state, officials said Thursday.

But it’s the first confirmed report of a live Asian giant hornet in the state in 2021, the Washington State Department of Agriculture said. The sighting in Whatcom County was reported Wednesday.

Earlier this summer, a dead insect was found north of Seattle.

The Asian giant hornet, first spotted in the U.S. in 2019, preys on insects, including honeybees — a small group can destroy a honeybee hive in hours, officials say — but this hornet was attacking paper wasp nests.

The hornet was east of Blaine, about 2 miles from where state officials destroyed a nest in October. That nest, which was in a tree rather than the more common location in the ground, was the first giant hornet nest discovered in the U.S.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Phil Helsel