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No giant hornets in Idaho

| May 9, 2020 1:00 AM

The Idaho State Department of Agriculture has no confirmed reports of Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia) being found in the state, according to department officials.

“At this point in time, only two specimens have ever been collected in the United States — both in northwest Washington,” the ISDA release stated.

Each year, ISDA investigates calls concerning the observation of possible non-native bees and hornets. Some native species are surprisingly large with a color pattern similar to that of the Asian giant hornet. One local species of note is the western cicada killer (Sphecius grandis), which is reported multiple times each summer.

The ISDA routinely surveys for many invasive pests around the state annually and evaluates potential sightings by the public on other species of local and national concern.

“We are monitoring the situation with Asian giant hornets closely,” the release said. “When non-native species are found, ISDA works with property owners and communities on control measures if any are appropriate and available.”

ISDA is also developing a public fact sheet with information about Asian giant hornets, including known distribution and identifying characteristics. That will be available soon.

Meantime, officials say to use extreme caution near Asian giant hornets. A person who is allergic to bee or wasp stings should never approach an Asian giant hornet.

If you believe you have found an Asian giant hornet, email info@isda.idaho.gov with information and photographs (if you can do so safely). You may be contacted by ISDA to discuss confirmation by scientific experts.