Invasive Asian giant hornet found in Washington state


SEATTLE (AP) — Officials are warning about the Asian giant hornet, a new invasive species found in Washington state that can pack a powerful sting and be a threat to honeybees.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture said the bug was found in early December in Blaine, near the Canadian border.

The state’s agriculture and health officials are now warning people in the area to be on the lookout and avoid the hornets, which are typically 1.5 inches (3.81 centimeters) long with large yellow heads.

The species is not usually interested in humans or animals but may sting if they or their ground nests are disturbed or threatened.

The health department says humans should take preventative measures by covering food and garbage and also avoid swatting at the hornets.

Winter is dormant season for the bugs, which are more often seen from July through October.