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Despite reports, state officials say there's no evidence of 'murder hornets' in Florida

Posted at 12:16 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 12:23:45-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has a clear message after recently receiving several reports of suspected Asian giant hornets (AGH) sightings throughout the state: There are no murder hornets in Florida.

FDACS’ Division of Plant Industry has confirmed that there is no evidence that so-called “murder hornets” are present anywhere in Florida.

"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," said Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

Because Asian giant hornets look similar to hornets and wasps in Florida, the state says the reports they've received are often cases of misidentification.

Still, the state says you can report any possible sightings to the FDACS Division of Plant Industry by emailing 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.

As a guide to help Floridian's accurately identify the hornet, state officials put together the following graphic: