Murder hornet eludes scientists trying to electronically track it to its secret lair

Several months ago, Washington State Department of Agriculture scientists glued a tracking device to a "murder" hornet in hopes of following the insect to its nest. Unfortunately, the tracker fell off. The Asian giant hornet is an invasive species and if it's established in the state, that will be bad news for "the environment, economy and public health," according to the WSDA. So far, there have been 18 confirmed sightings of the insect in Washington and many more reports. Last week, they captured another one and tied the tracking device to it with dental floss. But that second hornet managed to evade the scientists too. From CNN:

When scientists released the hornet into the wild onto an apple tree, they were initially successful in tracking the insect, but after some time they were unable to locate a signal when it flew into a heavily vegetated area and then quickly darted away…

Not all hope is lost, though, said Spichiger."We did get an initial direction of the flight," he said. "We were able to meet with several of the property owners and get a few more eyewitness accounts of seeing hornets earlier the week before or earlier in the summer, and so we are starting to narrow down exactly where the hornets' nest is." […]

Once a nest is located, the plan is to vacuum out the hornets and use carbon dioxide gas to knock out any remaining hornets in the nest, he said.

image: Karla Salp/Washington State Department of Agriculture