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Live yellow-legged hornet said to have been detected in the open U.S. for the first time


The yellow-legged hornet has been spotted in the Peach State, marking "the first detection of a live yellow-legged hornet in the open" U.S., according to the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which is urging anyone who sees one of the critters to report it.

"The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) announced, in coordination with USDA and the University of Georgia, confirmation of the detection of a living yellow-legged hornet in Georgia for the first time. This is the first detection of a live yellow-legged hornet in the open United States. GDA is asking the public to report any sightings of the yellow-legged hornet, a non-native hornet species, that, if allowed to establish in Georgia, could potentially threaten honey production, native pollinators, and our state’s number one industry - agriculture," a GDA press release noted.

The bugs feed "on a variety of insects," according to the GDA. The yellow-legged hornet builds nests above ground, frequently in trees.

Efforts will be made to target the species so that it can be eradicated from the state.

"The GDA has a team of experienced scientists in their Pest Program, and we are actively collaborating with USDA and academic experts. Together, we are developing an operational plan to trap, track, and eradicate the yellow-legged hornet in Georgia. The plan will begin with trapping, and APHIS and GDA will set out traps and survey for this pest to determine if additional yellow-legged hornets are in the area. If a colony is discovered through reporting, trapping, or tracking, the colony will be eradicated," the press release states.

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