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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Pacific NW

Do you want a job murdering ‘murder hornets’? Washington state is hiring

March 31, 2023 Updated Fri., March 31, 2023 at 4:19 p.m.

By Craig Sailor The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)

Are you looking to switch jobs? Perhaps you’ve thought, “If only I could trap and kill Washington’s most infamous and painful insect and get paid for it.”

Well, have we got the new career for you.

The state Department of Agriculture is looking to hire a giant hornet and wood boring insect trapper. Translation: Sherlock Holmes the heck out of the so-called “murder hornet” and terminate with extreme prejudice.

Murder hornet is the name the news media has given to the invasive northern giant hornet from Japan that first appeared in Washington in 2019. Its resume is impressive:

• World’s largest hornet.

• Can attack and destroy a honey bee colony in hours.

• Able to sting repeatedly with venom more painful and toxic than bees; a sensation described as like being “stabbed by a red-hot needle.”

Your resume, should you want the job, should include a bachelor’s degree in entomology, plant pathology, horticulture, botany, agronomy or closely allied field or the equivalent education/experience.

You’ll head a team of five insect trappers who place stinging and non-stinging insect traps, handle live stinging insects and potentially remove stinging insect nests. Yes, “stinging” is the theme here.

“All Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required will be provided by the agency,” the listing states.

One job requirement that should go without saying: “Willingness to work with live stinging and biting insects.”

The job is a seasonal position from now through December. The salary ranges from from $2,956 to $3,915 monthly.

You’ll be working for the Ag Dept.’s Pest Program. It conducts surveys and controls agricultural pest and disease activity throughout the state.

In addition to the murder hornet, pests the department traps and monitors include the Japanese beetle, spongy moth, apple maggot, snails, pathogens with nearly unpronounceable names and an aquatic grass called Spartina.

“Regardless of the threat, pest program employees use cutting edge technology, scientific processes, and teamwork to protect some of Washington’s most valuable agricultural crops,” the job listing states.

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