First Asian giant hornet sighting for 2021 reported in Snohomish County

Experts with the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have announced the first sighting of an Asian giant hornet in 2021. 

A resident found a deceased male hornet near Marysville around June 4, according to WSDA. 

This is the first confirmed report from Snohomish County and appears to be unrelated to the 2019 and 2020 Asian giant hornet introductions in Canada and Whatcom County, the WSDA said. 

"Given the time of year, that it was a male, and that the specimen was exceptionally dry, entomologists believe that the specimen is an old hornet from a previous season that wasn’t discovered until now. New males usually don’t emerge until at least July. There is no obvious pathway for how the hornet got to Marysville," WSDA said in a press release.

Sven Spichiger, WSDA managing entomologist said during a press conference that a dead hornet is not indicative of a hornet population.


Photo from WSDA

LOOKING BACK: First Asian giant hornets nest found in Washington 

"The find is perplexing because it is too early for a male to emerge," said Dr. Osama El-Lissy, Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Plant Protection and Quarantine program. "Last year, the first males emerged in late July, which was earlier than expected. However, we will work with WSDA to survey the area to verify whether a population exists in Snohomish County. USDA will continue to provide technical expertise and monitor the situation in the state. USDA has already provided funding for survey and eradication activities as well as research into lures and population genetics."

Every suspected sighting in Washington State should be reported to the Washington State Department of Agriculture online at, by emailing, or calling 1-800-443-6684.

RELATED: Asian giant hornets can be attracted to hummingbird feeders, state agriculture officials say 

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