By Clint Thompson
Only a couple of weeks after the yellow-legged hornet was sighted in Georgia, a nest has been safely eradicated, says Tyler Harper, Georgia Ag Commissioner.
Harper announced the development during a news conference on Friday morning and called it a huge win for Georgia agriculture.
“We are here today to announce that within two weeks of initial confirmation of the yellow-legged hornet in the Savannah area that we have found a nest and safely eradicated that nest by the Department of Agriculture’s team of experienced scientists,” Harper said. “I want to thank Mike Evans and his entire team and our Plant Protection Division, and our partnership with USDA and UGA to help us get to this point.”
The discovery of the nest was made on Aug. 18, approximately 85 feet off the ground in a tree. Cypermethrin was applied to the nest to kill the hornets. An application was made to the entrance and interior, and parts of the nest broke away. Cypermethrin was also applied directly to the nest.
“We are confident that the vast majority of the hornets that were in that nest were eradicated,” Harper said.
Harper also confirmed that the nest was not on the same site as where the hornet was initially spotted. There have been four confirmed sightings on four different properties.
“The nest was near the location where all of the sightings have been found,” Harper said. “This nest was in the general vicinity of all of those locations, which is why we believe this is very significant.
“So far we have only currently found the hornet in the Savannah area, and it can continue to threaten the honey production, native pollinators and our state’s No. 1 industry, agriculture.”
Monitoring the Situation
The GDA will continue to monitor the area where the hornets have been found to locate any other nests that might be present to help determine whether this is the only yellow-legged hornet nest in the area.
The yellow-legged hornet is a non-native species that constructs egg-shaped paper nests above ground. The nests can house an average of 6,000 workers. It is native to Southeast Asia.