There have been a number of headlines in the UK press over the past few weeks highlighting the fact that we may be about to feel the presence of a particularly aggressive insect which is not natural to this country.
Asian hornets head for Britain: Public warned swarms which deliver vicious sting are coming across the Channel
- Vespa velutina nigrithorax attacks honey bees and spreads quickly
- Species believed to have arrived from China via France in September
- Defra asks beekeepers to report sightings of the invasive hornet
What Should You Look For?
The Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) is slightly smaller than the European hornet. Typically queens are 30 mm in length, and males about 24 mm. Workers measure about 20 mm in length. The species has distinctive yellow tarsi. The thorax is a velvety brown or black with a brown abdomen.
Each abdominal segment has a narrow posterior yellow border, except for the fourth segment, which is orange. The head is black and the face yellow. Regional forms however, vary sufficiently in colour to cause difficulties in classification, and several subspecies have been variously identified or rejected.
The form Vespa velutina nigrithorax is the one that is causing concern about its invasiveness in Europe.
Have There Been Any Sightings Yet?
Whilst there have been no confirmed sightings in the UK as of yet, as with all aspects of effective pest control, vigilance is hugely important in order to remain in control.
What Should You Do?
Should you have any concerns at all, please contact us on Tel. No. 01992 763776 for advice.
Is Anything Else Coming to the UK?
The Mirror recently highlighted the fact that a number of non-indigenous species may soon be found in the UK, including poisonous weeds, giant rats and killer prawns. For more on this please check out the following article – http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/giant-asian-killer-hornets-coming-3418733