Unreal: The photos, taken as wildlife officials eradicate the murder hornets nest, are like something out of a bizarre science fiction film.
The first nesting place of murder hornets in the United States has been found and eradicated. According to the Associated Press, “heavily protected crews” were able to remove the hornets and their nest in Blaine Washington just this weekend. The wildlife officials – wearing uniquely bizarre foam suits – were able to remove an estimated 200 hornets. All while looking as if they’re waiting for an alien invasion.
AP then clarifies, “crews wearing thick protective suits vacuumed the invasive insects from the cavity of a tree into large canisters Saturday. The suits prevent the hornets’ 6-millimeter-long stingers from hurting workers, who also wore face shields because the trapped hornets can spit a painful venom into their eyes. The nest found in the city of Blaine near the Canadian border is about the size of a basketball.”
Entomologists Eradicate U.S. Murder Hornets
Science writer and AP contributor Ferris Jabr is continually covering the story via his Twitter account. Within, he provides fascinating snippets of the process – and of the murder hornets themselves.
In his first tweet announcing both the eradication and the AP article, Jabr states “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 nest found in the U.S.”
While the invasive hornets have now been found here in the U.S., they are normally found in Japan. China, Thailand, South Korea, and Vietnam also host populations.
So far, Washington State and Canada’s British Colombia are the only known North American populations. But scientists are still unsure how they got here.
How Did Scientists Locate The Hornet’s Nest?
It’s one thing to eradicate a nest once it’s been found. Locating the nest, however, was an incredible feat all in itself.
According to Jabr, “Entomologists found the basketball-sized nest, which was in a tree cavity in Blaine, WA, after several attempts to attach radio trackers to captured wasps with glue and dental floss. Sometimes the tracker fell off or the wasp chewed through the floss. Finally one worked.”
Entomologists found the basketball-sized nest, which was in a tree cavity in Blaine, WA, after several attempts to attach radio trackers to captured wasps with glue and dental floss. Sometimes the tracker fell off or the wasp chewed through the floss. Finally one worked. pic.twitter.com/nQXGNfidB0— Ferris Jabr (@ferrisjabr) October 24, 2020
With 2020 proving an incredibly harsh year already, should we be really concerned about these giant hornets? And what happens if you’re stung by one?
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