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Transportation crews to set Asian giant hornet traps

June 4, 2021 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — Transportation and agriculture crews plan to set traps in July along state highways to try to catch Asian giant hornets.

The Washington Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it will partner with other agencies to set at least 1,200 traps across Washington, KING5 reported. They’ll focus on the northwest part of the state starting July 3.

The hornets, found in Blaine near the U.S.-Canadian border in December 2019, are still at large and pose a threat to honeybees and native hornet species. While not particularly aggressive toward humans, their sting is extremely painful.

The traps going out this summer will be placed at least 6 feet high on trees near edges of forests. Crews will check the traps weekly during other normal maintenance and preservation work.

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The Department of Agriculture has placed the giant hornets on the list of quarantine pests. This gives the state more tools to help eradicate the invasive species by allowing the department to declare any land within 20 meters of a nest a restricted “infested site” even if it sits on private property.