The Washington state Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday plans to set about 1,000 traps this year in their quest to wipe out the Asian giant hornet. Those traps will be set in Whatcom County, where the invasive pest was first detected in 2019.

The WSDA’s Sven-Erik Spichiger noted those traps help they determine potential locations of hornet nests. Last year, three nests were eradicated in Washington, all outside of Blaine. Spichiger noted there have been no confirmed reports of Asian giant hornet nests so far in 2022. After years of fighting the murder hornet, Spichiger feels the state is making progress. He noted the WSDA is a lot faster at tracking and finding nest, and they’ve improved tools the public can use to help WSDA.

“We’ve identified a biology and a behavior that we know is going on here and then we can use that to our advantage, that to me is progress.  And to me, after what we saw with a different hornet being introduced in Europe and spreading to multiple nations in three to four years, I think we’re doing pretty good right now.”

Many in the ag community, and the non-ag community, are wondering when will the Asian Giant hornet be considered eradicated in the Evergreen state?

“We can expect me to call this eradicated once we’ve had three consecutive years with no detections.  And so, we have yet to have one year with no detections in northern Whatcom County.  I had opened [this press conference] up by saying we’re entering our last year of trapping in and around the Bellingham area, which was based on a single detection there and that will be, I’ll knock on wood here, with negative survey results this year the Bellingham area would be declared  free of.”

For more on efforts to eradicate the Asian Giant hornet in Washington, check out the WSDA's Website.

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