New Brunswick, N.J. (May 6, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick experts are available for interviews on inquiries about the invasive Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia).

While media reports have triggered concern over the large pest, there are no reports of its presence in North America besides sightings in Washington State and British Columbia in 2019. In New Jersey, Rutgers Cooperative Extension county offices receive insects submitted by members of the public for identification, none of which have turned out to be the Asian giant hornet, according to Michelle Infante-Casella and William J. Bamka, Agricultural Agents at Rutgers Cooperative Extension, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

“The species has not yet been detected this spring in Washington State or the British Columbia or anywhere else on the West Coast,” said Professor Dina M. Fonseca, director of the Center for Vector Biology in the Department of Entomology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers–New Brunswick. “We do not know how the species arrived in the United States but it is important to not overreact.”

“The Asian giant hornet is unlikely to be present in New Jersey,” Fonseca said. “While citizens in the Pacific Northwest can help detect any emerging hornets this spring, which is critical for its control, the indiscriminate killing of bees, wasps or other hornet lookalikes would be detrimental because of their beneficial roles as plant pollinators and predators of agricultural pests.”

An article on the Asian giant hornet is on a Rutgers website.

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Broadcast interviews: Rutgers University has broadcast-quality TV and radio studios available for remote live or taped interviews with Rutgers experts. For more information, contact Neal Buccino at neal.buccino@echo.rutgers.edu

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