Of all of the strange things that we dealt with in 2020, (and, trust us, there was plenty of weird to go around), one of the most obtusely bizarre stories of the year had to do with an invasive species of flying hellion known colloquially as the “murder hornet”.
These Giant Asian Hornets are both enormous and aggressive, and have enough venom to pose a real risk to people with certain underlying conditions.
Sometime in 2020, these airborne terrors began arriving in the Pacific Northwest, and scientists have been trying to contain them ever since.
Now, as the temperatures begin to rise again, the battle is about to begin anew.
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Scientists in the U.S. and Canada are opening new fronts in the war against so-called murder hornets as the giant insects begin establishing nests this spring.
The scientists said Wednesday that the battle to prevent the apex predators from establishing a foothold in North America is being fought mostly in Whatcom County, Washington, and the nearby Fraser Valley of British Columbia, where the hornets have been spotted in recent years.
“This is not a species we want to tolerate here in the United States,” said Sven-Erik Spichiger of the Washington state Department of Agriculture, which eradicated a nest of the Asian giant hornets last year. “The Asian giant hornet is not supposed to be here.”
The efforts will begin with attempts to lure and capture the hornet queens that will be looking to establish new nests in the coming weeks.
But that’s not all. Researchers also need to know just how these invasive insects are getting here, with the predominant theory being that they’ve crossed the Pacific on cargo ships.
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