Asian Giant Hornet Nest Found In Washington State

FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2020, file photo, a Washington state Department of Agriculture worker holds two of the dozens of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a tree in Blaine, Wash. Authorities say they've found the first Asian giant hornet nest of 2021 in a rural area east of Blaine. State entomologists will now develop a plan to eradicate the nest. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2020, file photo, a Washington state Department of Agriculture worker holds two of the dozens of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a tree in Blaine, Wash. Authorities say they've found the first Asian giant hornet nest of 2021 in a rural area east of Blaine. State entomologists will now develop a plan to eradicate the nest. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

BLAINE, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say they have found the first Asian giant hornet nest of 2021 in a rural area in Washington state, about a quarter-mile from where a resident reported seeing one of the hornets earlier this month.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture narrowed the search area on Tuesday and located the nest east of Blaine on Thursday, department officials said.

Crews found the nest after they followed a hornet that was equipped with a tracking device, KOMO reported. Crews were able to net and tag three hornets between Aug. 11 – Aug. 17.

State entomologists will now develop a plan to eradicate the nest, most likely next week.

The 2-inch-long (5-centimeter-long) invasive insects, first found near the U.S.-Canadian border in December 2019, are native to Asia and pose a threat to honeybees and native hornet species. While not particularly aggressive toward humans, their sting is extremely painful and repeated stings, though rare, can kill.