State agriculture department captures first male Asian giant hornet detected in the U.S.

The first male Asian giant hornet in Washington state and the first in the U.S. has been captured, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

On Monday, WSDA officials said they captured the hornet in late July in Custer in a bottle trap then processed the finding in an entomology lab on Aug. 13. Agriculture officials said a mated queen was also found dead earlier this year.

“Trapping a male Asian giant hornet in July initially came as a surprise,” Sven Spichiger, WSDA managing entomologist, said in an online statement. “But further examination of the research and consultation with international experts confirmed that a few males can indeed emerge early in the season.”

RELATED: Washington state begins trapping for Asian giant hornets

Experts say they will install more traps, hoping to capture a live Asian hornet to tag and track it back to its nest, where the agency will then eradicate the nest. 

So far, seven of the giant hornets have been found in Washington state. 

WSDA says these insects are an invasive species that attack and destroy honeybee hives, in addition to attacking other insects. Officials are asking anyone who sees any of the hornets to report them to the WSDA here