A NEST of Asian "murder hornets" has been discovered in Washington state amid fears the killer insect's population could surge.
It comes less than two weeks after a deadly live hornet was spotted for the first time this year in the state – with a small group of the critters capable of wiping out an entire hive of honeybees in a matter of hours.
The nest was found in a rural east area of Blaine, just a quarter of a mile away from where a live hornet was seen attacking a paper wasp nest on August 11.
Members of the Washington State Department of Agriculture team netted and tagged three hornets with trackers – with one successfully leading the team to the nest.
They are now working to eradicate the nest in the coming days
But it is feared there could be more nests in the area, with the WSDA urging people to report any sightings.
Asian giant hornets, the world's largest hornets, are not native to the US and prey on already endangered honeybees, as well as other insects.
The killer creatures can use their sharp jaws to tear through human skin, and multiple stings have been known to kill humans.
Scientists have warned for months that the killer species is a public health threat.
Dr. Samuel Ramsey told WUSA: "It is a very large insect. About the size of your thumb.
"It has these very sharp, large mandibles that are attached to these really big muscles that allow it to chew through a lot of different fabrics.
"They can chew through the skin, and they also have a really long stinger."
A small group of hornets can destroy a honeybee hive in just hours, while their poisonous venom can destroy human cells and send signals of constant pain to nerves.
The dangerous insects have been known to kill up to 50 people a year in their native country Japan.
They are over two inches long and can fly at speeds of 20mph.
Hundreds of "murder hornets" have been spotted in Washington state over the past year.
A nest, thought to be the size of a basketball, was found last October and contained almost 500 insects.
Officials quickly sealed off the nest and they think it prevented possibly 200 new ones from developing.
This latest nest discovery comes just months after a hornet was found north of Seattle.
The predator was found on a resident's lawn in Snohomish County in June and experts think the pest appeared to be from a previous season.
Source: Read Full Article