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An Asian giant hornet is visible at the opening to its nest in a tree (September 15, 2021). Photo courtesy of WSDA

4th Asian giant hornet nest in Whatcom County is again in a tree but has new challenges

BLAINE, Wash. — Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) officials today said they estimate eradication of the 3rd Asian giant hornet (AGH) nest of 2021 is expected to occur late next week.

When WSDA entomologists initially reported AGH sightings in Canada and later in Whatcom County, they expected any nests would be found in ground. This is what they had been told by their counterparts in Japan and the nest found near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island seemed to confirmed that expectation. But all 4 AGH nests found in Whatcom County, including the first 1 found in 2020, have been located in the trunks of trees and relatively low on the trunk.

The most recent nest, while also in a tree trunk, is located an estimated 20-feet from the ground. As a result, a different strategy and special equipment will be required for the eradication effort. So it will not happen as quickly as has been the case with the other nests that have each been eradicated within about a week of their discovery.

An opening to an Asian giant hornet nest is visible about 20-feet up in a tree trunk (September 15, 2021). Photo courtesy of WSDA
An opening to an Asian giant hornet nest is visible about 20-feet up in a tree trunk (September 15, 2021). Photo courtesy of WSDA

This 4th nest was reported last Saturday while announcing that the 3rd nest had been eradicated.

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While specific locations are not provided to protect property owners’ privacy the 3 nests located prior have been within a few miles radius within east Blaine. Entomologists have been having success placing electronic tracking devices on AGHs that have been captured live and then released to be tracked back to their nest.

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