Removal of Asian giant hornet nest in Blaine appears ‘successful’

BLAINE, Wash. — Entomologists with the Washington State Department of Agriculture said the removal of an Asian giant hornet nest near Blaine “appears to have been successful.”

Entomologists vacuumed 85 hornets out of a dead alder tree early Saturday morning. They caught 13 more hornets on Friday.

>> WSDA discovers Asian giant hornet nest in Blaine – first in the U.S.

The nest, thought to be the first ever found in the U.S., was removed from a tree cavity on Saturday morning. It was found Thursday.

A crew with the WSDA Pest Program vacuumed numerous specimens out of the nest, officials said.

According to experts, Asian giant hornets usually nest in the ground but occasionally make their homes in dead trees.

Dozens of hornets were seen going in and out of the tree.

The discovery comes after a WSDA trapper collected two live Asian giant hornets on Oct. 21, caught in a type of trap new for the area.

Whatcom County officials said after the nest was vacuumed, it was injected with carbon dioxide to asphyxiate whatever remained in the cavity.

Saturday’s eradication crew included personnel from WSDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Discovery Channel.

The tree will be cut down by a contractor later this week. The queen was not vacuumed out on Saturday, they think she is likely still in the nest.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture believes there are likely 3 more nests in Whatcom county, based on traps. Now that entomologists know the trackers borrowed from the USDA work to track the hornets, they are hopeful they can find and remove the other nests. They will keep the traps up to the end of November.