Why scientists want the public to set traps to catch so-called 'murder hornets', despite the risk
VANCOUVER -- Scientists on both sides of the B.C. border suggested Wednesday that the public can help rid the region of the Asian giant hornet by putting up homemade traps.
They recommend using a mixture of one cup of water and one cup of brown sugar in a used plastic bottle, with some sort of top to keep the giant insect inside.
All six confirmed sightings of the so-called “murder hornet” in B.C. last year were made by members of the public.
“We would basically like to use the public’s eyes to report sightings,” said Paul Van Westendorp of the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture. “We just don’t have enough resources to be everywhere, all the time.”
He said none of the traps set-up by the ministry last year did the trick.
An invasive species that kills honey bees, Asian giant hornets have a nasty sting. That can pose a risk to members of the public looking to trap the insects at home, scientists admit.
But Sven Spichiger, of Washington State’s Department of Agriculture, argues not knowing a nest is nearby and stepping on it is a far greater risk.
“To me, that is the real danger,” said Spichiger. “Having something that could really cause you a serious world of hurt, unbeknownst to you, living on your property, that is really what puts you in danger.”
“So to me, hanging a trap actually protects you,” he said.
Queens begin to build nests in the spring, and workers will be most visible in July and August.
Anyone who does catch an Asian giant hornet is advised to leave it alone and call the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture. Professionals will be sent to assess the situation and take the venomous insect away.