It looks like the overshadowed villain of 2020 is still living in parts of the United States. Murder Hornets are popping up around the Pacific Northwest, and they seem determined to stick around. According to a Tweet by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, officials just eradicated a second nest and spotted a third.
Murder hornets are an invasive species from Asia. They hunt our already endangered honeybees and can wipe out entire colonies within a few hours. The creatures made their first North American appearance in 2019 when people spotted them in Vancouver.
Then in 2020, the hornets had migrated into the northwest corner of Washington State. So far, US wildlife officials have been able to stop the species from spreading further into the states.
The first eradication happened last month in Blaine, WA. Officials found a nine-layer nest that was home to nearly 1,500 Asian Giant Hornets.
Second 2021 nest is down. A third has been located within the same general area. We are working on plans for eradicating now. More updates to come in the next week. pic.twitter.com/kcbO9CXDCL— Washington State Department of Agriculture (@WSDAgov) September 11, 2021
“Second 2021 nest is down,” wrote the WA State Department of Agriculture. “A third has been located within the same general area. We are working on plans for eradicating now. More updates to come in the next week.”
Locals thanked the WDSA for “killing it” this year as the threat has been a growing fear. Officials stated on the website that they plan on hunting and eradicating nests throughout the fall.
Murder Hornets Nest Removed by Wildlife Officials in Bizzare Hazmat Suit
The eradication specials at the Washington State Department of Agriculture are heroes for saving our depleted honeybee colonies from murder hornets. But when they’re doing their work, they look like characters in a 1960s sci-fi flick.
When a team removed the first hornet nest of 2021 in Blaine Washington, they did so while wearing bizarre suits. And while the gear may look like overkill, it is absolutely necessary. Crews must be heavily protected when they invade nests. Their suits have to be thick enough to stop the hornets’ 6-millimeter long stingers, and they have to be air-tight to shield workers from painful, venomous spit.
Giant bugs with 6-millimeter long stingers that can spit “painful venom” do sound like creatures from a monster movie. So, we can’t blame workers for dressing the part.
Ferris Jabr from the New York Times got his hands on some pictures and posted them on Twitter.
These look like photos from the set of a sci-fi film but they actually show Washington State Dept of Agriculture workers in protective suits vacuuming hundreds of 2-inch-long invasive Asian giant hornets from the first nest found in the U.S. https://t.co/jcn2a9AkEh pic.twitter.com/klM3mqcrW4— Ferris Jabr (@ferrisjabr) October 24, 2020
“These look like photos from the set of a sci-fi film,” he wrote alongside the creepy snapshots, “But they actually show Washington State Dept of Agriculture workers in protective suits vacuuming hundreds of 2-inch-long invasive Asian giant hornets from the first nest found in the U.S.”