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Second giant 'murder hornet' escapes after it was captured by scientists in Washington

October 13, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

In this Oct. 7, 2020, photo provided by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, a live Asian giant hornet is affixed with a tracking device before being released near Blaine, Wash. Washington state officials say they were again unsuccessful at live-tracking an Asian giant hornet while trying to find and destroy a nest of the so-called murder hornets. The Washington State Department of Agriculture said Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, that an entomologist used dental floss to tie a tracking device on a female hornet, only to lose signs of her when she went into the forest. (Karla Salp/Washington State Department of Agriculture via AP)

Another "murder" hornet that could have led scientists to its nest has evaded experts once more, following a lost signal.

Last week, scientists with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA)captured a live Asian giant hornet -- known as "murder" hornets for their ability to decimate honeybee populations -- and used dental floss to attach a tracking device to its body, which "worked quite well," said Sven Spichiger, WSDA's managing entomologist, during a news conference on Monday.

This isn't the first time the state has tracked a live giant hornet.

So far, Spichiger said there are at least two Asian giant hornet nests in Whatcom County in Washington, with a possibility of a third.

If the hornet becomes established in the state, it will negatively impact the environment, economy and public health, the WSDA said.

Since the preliminary reports in 2019, there have been 18 confirmed Asian giant hornets found in Washington, but there have been even more additional sightings.

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