(ThePatriotWire)- So far this year, the Asian giant hornets, or murder hornets as they’re called, have not been sighted in the United States.
+o[o]The largest species of hornet in the world, the murder hornets are native to Asia and are considered an invasive species in the United States posing a great risk to the native ecosystem.
They were first detected in Blaine, Washington in December 2019. However, it isn’t clear how the species entered the US, though some scientists suspect the hornets may have been imported illegally.
In 2020 and 2021, the Washington State Department of Agriculture recorded new sightings of the hornet. But this ryulo;h;year, none have been recorded in the state so far, despite nearly 1,400 giant hornet traps being set up over the summer.
There have also been no sightings of the hornets in states that previously recorded their presence, including Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
The lack of recorded sightings could mean that the murder hornets have been eradicated in the United States.
According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Amber Betts, they don’t know as yet if the species has disappeared, but the agency will “continue to monitor and eradicate when we find nests.”
But the year isn’t over. Betts said that in previous years, they continued to trap the hornets well into November.
The murder hornets are known to attack honeybee hives. According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, just a few of these hornets can destroy an entire hive in a matter of hours, decapitating the honeybees and claiming the hive for themselves.
The sting from a hornet is more severe than the sting of a honeybee. The stinger is much longer and the venom is more toxic. Unlike honeybees that can only sting once, hornets can repeatedly sting a victim. However, they will only attack humans when provoked or threatened.