The species is enormous. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Justin Lindsay / Flickr
A nest of enormous invasive wasp-like insects has reportedly been discovered for the first time on US soil.
More commonly known as the Asian giant hornet, these enormous insects have already proven a problematic invasive species in Europe and now they are threatening to invade the US as well.
Measuring 1.8 inches long and with a venomous stinger quarter-of-an-inch in length, the Asian giant hornet can actually prove lethal to humans and is responsible for up to 50 deaths a year in Japan.
In addition, these predatory insects are known to attack honey bees which (unlike their Japanese counterparts) have no innate defense against them.
As a result, even a small number of hornets can totally devastate an entire honey bee colony.
Now a recent report out of Washington state has revealed that a nest of these unsettling insects has been found in Blaine - a city near the Canadian border to the north of Seattle.
Wildlife authorities had been searching for the nest for weeks and they finally managed to determine its location by attaching a tracking device to one of the hornets after it was caught in a trap by a worker at the Washington state Agriculture Department.
The nest itself was located inside a tree on a private property.
It still remains unclear exactly how the species - which is typically found in China, Japan, Thailand and other eastern countries - actually managed to make its way to the United States.
The race is now on to eliminate the insects before they manage to gain a strong foothold.