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There is no evidence that 'murder hornets' are in Florida, says FDACS

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Posted at 12:21 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 12:21:18-04

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says there is no evidence that "murder hornets" are anywhere in Florida.

The FDACS said they recently received several reports of the suspected Asian giant hornets throughout Florida. However, that is not true.

The department said the Asian giant hornets bear a close resemblance to native hornet and wasp species in Florida.

"With reports of suspected Asian giant hornet sightings in Florida, our department and the USDA have confirmed that there is no evidence of this species in Florida," said Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. "Our partners at the Washington State Department of Agriculture and the USDA are continuing to study and contain the Asian giant hornet to Washington state. We have every reason to believe that these ongoing efforts will keep this invasive pest far away from Florida’s residents and 650,000 honeybee colonies."

The Asian giant hornet is the world's largest species of a hornet. The Washington State Department of Agriculture confirmed the detection of several individual Asian giant hornets in December 2019.

The Asian giant hornet is known to feed on insects, sap and soft fruits, but rarely attack people or pets unless they feel threatened. Their venom is highly toxic.

If you believe you have seen an Asian giant hornet, report it to the FDACS Division of Plant Industry by emailing DPIHelpline@FDACS.gov or calling 1-888-397-1517 and provide as much detail as you can about what you saw and where. If possible, include a photo if you can safely obtain one.

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