Murder hornets could be attracted to your hummingbird feeder, Washington officials said.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture said Monday that officials have received reports of Asian giant hornets, also known as murder hornets, visiting hummingbird feeders.
“If you have feeders, please keep an eye out and report if you see an Asian giant hornet at your feeder,” officials said on Facebook.
The insect can be about half the size of a hummingbird. Asian giant hornets are the world’s largest hornet species, according to the Department of Agriculture.
They were first spotted in the U.S. near Blaine,Washington, in December 2019. In 2020, there were dozens of confirmed sightings of murder hornets in the state, according to Department of Agriculture data.
In October 2020, entomologists destroyed a murder hornet nest by vacuuming the insects out of the nest, removing 98 worker hornets during the process.
Asian giant hornets attack and destroy honey bee hives, and decapitate bees. Their stinger is longer than a honey bee’s, and Asian giant hornets have more toxic venom. The bug can also sting more than once.
“If it becomes established, this hornet will have negative impacts on the environment, economy, and public health of Washington State,” Department of Agriculture officials said.
State officials are working on finding new tools to help fight the spread of the invasive species, The Associated Press reported. They proposed a “quarantine on all live hornets” and outlawing the sale and distribution of hornets in Washington.
Additionally, agriculture officials hope they can declare an “infested site” that would stretch nearly 66 feet around nests that are found on public and private property, AP reported.
People in Washington who see Asian giant hornets should report it to the Washington State Department of Agriculture by using the Hornet Watch Report Form, emailing email@example.com or calling 1-800-443-6684.