Washington State has trapped its first Asian giant hornet.
Dubbed the ‘murder hornet’, they can grow as large as two and a half inches long.
The stinging hornet was first discovered in the United States in December.
Officials fear it threatens the beekeeping industry - and poses a risk to humans.
“Unfortunately, on July 14th, one of our WSDA traps was able to pick up a specimen of Asian giant hornet in the Birch Bay area."
Sven-Erik Spichiger works for the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
He said the hornet was the sixth sighted in the area.
" Our initial feeling is that this is a worker hornet. Our response to this will be to inundate the area immediately surrounding that positive trap capture with additional traps that are designed to capture the hornets alive.”
The department is now searching for nests using infrared cameras.
“We do have a response team ready to rope the area off and perform an eradication."
Officials hope to capture one alive, which could be tagged and traced to a colony.