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Washington state has trapped its first 'murder hornet'

July 31, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Scientists have been trying to trap the invasive insects and prevent an infestation since they were first spotted in the state last year.

(CNN)Washington state has trapped its first Asian giant hornet -- or, what we've come to know as the "murder hornet. "

Scientists have been trying to trap the invasive insects and prevent an infestation since they were first spotted in the state last year.

Up until now, five giant hornets had officially been sighted in the state.

This is the first one found in a trap, according to a news release.

Officials announced Friday that they had identified the Asian giant hornet earlier this week from a trap collected near Birch Bay on July 14.

"This is encouraging because it means we know that the traps work," Sven Spichiger, managing entomologist for Washington's Department of Agriculture (WSDA) said in the announcement.

That work includes looking for nests using infrared cameras and setting more traps, the announcement said.

The state's agriculture department plans to deploy special traps that will catch the hornets and keep them alive so they can be tagged and tracked back to their colonies.

Scientists aren't sure how these giant hornets native to Asia ended up in Washington state.

Washington state agricultural officials are asking beekeepers and residents to report any sightings of the giant hornets.

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