First murder hornet nest discovered in U.S. successfully removed

First murder hornet nest discovered in the U.S. successfully removed

BLAINE, Wash. — The first nest of murder hornets discovered in the U.S. was successfully removed Saturday by wildlife officials.

A crew vacuumed quite a few of the large insects as part of the removal process.

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The nest was found in a tree on private property Thursday. A Washington State Agriculture Department worker found two of the insects found in a trap Wednesday. Two more hornets were captured Thursday. Scientists used dental floss to attach a tiny tracker to one of the insects, which led them to the nest.

Officials have been searching for nests since the first of the large hornets was captured earlier this year. The first hornet detected in the U.S. was in Blaine, Washington, in December. Another was found in July. About 20 have been found since.

The hornets are nearly 2 inches long and deliver a painful sting to humans. The invasive insect can decimate a hive of honeybees, which are already in decline from threats including disease, pesticides and loss of food. They typically only kill a few dozen people each year in Asian countries such as China, Japan and Thailand, where they are more prevalent.