Scientists in the US have found a deadly hornet in a number of states.
The Asian giant (or ‘murder’ hornet) can grow up to two inches long with a sting that delivers a potent neurotoxin.
The Washington state Department of Agriculture has verified two reports of the insect near the town of Blaine, close to the Canadian border
It is not known how or when the hornet arrived in the US. It is a native of the forests and low mountains of eastern and southeast Asia.
The hornet can sting through most standard beekeeper suits and delivers nearly seven times the amount of venom as a honey bee.
Swarms have been known to kill people in Japan, even those with no allergic reaction, and it is there that the insect earned the grim sobriquet, the ‘murder hornet’.
Its main prey are wasps and bees – a huge worry for farmers in the US north west who rely on honey bees to pollinate crops.