Washington Couple Was Unwitting Neighbor of 1st Murder Hornet Nest Removed From American Soil

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Over the weekend, the first hive of murder hornets found on American soil was cleared out from a tree in Blaine, Washington. And much to one couple’s astonishment, the wild scene took place right in their own backyard.

Josie and Max Shelton watched in amazement as the experts in special protective suits cleared out the nest of murder hornets. That had seen the giant insects around their home, but had no idea the nest was in a tree right next to their property.

“These things are huge,” Josie told Inside Edition.

“With a huge stinger,” Max added.

First, scientists from the State Department of Agriculture wrapped the tree in plastic. Then, they vacuumed out the hornets — about 200 of them altogether. Authorities found the nest after catching a murder hornet and attaching a tiny transmitter to its body with dental floss. It flew right back to the tree, giving away the whereabouts of the entire hive.

“It led us to this tree right off a trail,” Josie said.

The murder hornet is native to parts of temperate and tropical Asia and the Russian Far East. In late 2019, they were discovered in the United States for the first time in the Pacific Northwest.

TV wildlife expert Coyote Peterson allowed one to sting him for a video, which caused excruciating pain.

“They are intimidating when you see one,” Josie said.

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