Dead murder hornet marks invasive species' return to U.S.
An Asian giant hornet was found dead near Seattle — the first such sighting in the United States this year, per AP.
Why it matters: The 2-inch-long invasive insects, known as "murder hornets," pose a threat to honeybees and native hornet species, and their extremely painful stings can be deadly to human beings.
What's happening: Entomologists from Washington state and the USDA confirmed a report of a dead Asian giant hornet in Snohomish County north of Seattle.
- The hornets generated buzz last year after nests were discovered along the Canadian border.
Between the lines: Experts believe the dead hornet was likely left over from the previous year, when agriculture officials in the region went tree to tree trying to vacuum nests.
- But DNA tests indicate the hornet was unrelated to earlier populations, and it's unclear how it arrived in Snohomish County.
The bottom line: The USDA advises that if you encounter a murder hornet, you should "calmly leave the area."
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