Asian Giant hornet sighting Custer, Wash.

The Washington Department of Agriculture is reporting the first confirmed sighting of a Giant Asian Hornet in the state this year.

The WSDA says a resident in Custer, Wash., spotted the dead hornet while walking on a roadway on Wednesday, May 27, submitting a photo and report to the WSDA. The specimen was collected, and state and federal labs confirmed it was a Giant Asian Hornet Friday.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has developed response guidelines that include several options for eradicating the Asian giant hornet should additional hornets be detected in Washington State. At this time, there is no evidence that Asian giant hornets are established in Washington State or anywhere else in the United States,” according to Osama El-Lissy, Deputy Administrator, for USDA/APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine program.

The WSDA says the hornet was detected near the location of a suspected Asian giant hornet bee kill in 2019. They had already planned trapping in that area and will maintain that plan to try and locate any potential colonies.

The British Columbian government confirmed their first detection of the year in Canada near Langley, B.C. That specimen was initially reported to authorities on May 15.