Asian hornets, also called Vespa velutina nigrithorax, are a type of hornet from Southeast Asia. They were discovered in an empty house in St Brelades, a town on the Channel Island in the United Kingdom. These hornets are a problem because they can harm local hornet populations, harm ecosystems by attacking honeybees, and can be aggressive towards people.
These hornets first came to Europe on a ship and were first seen in the south of France. From there, they spread across the continent, including the United Kingdom. The Channel Islands, like St Brelades, are at risk because they are close to mainland Europe.
A nest of Asian hornets was found in St Brelades, making it the 171st nest found in the UK this year, compared to 71 at the same time last year. Authorities are worried that they may not be able to stop these hornets from coming into the country.
They are telling people to be very careful if they find an Asian hornet nest. These hornets spread quickly, and it’s important to know how to handle the situation. They are commonly found in houses, trees, shrubs, orchards, and places where they can stay warm in the winter.
If you come across an Asian hornet nest:
1. Observe and Report: Don’t try to remove it yourself because you need the right skills. Don’t disturb them; they can attack you. Instead, tell the local authorities and give them the exact location. If you’re in the UK, contact the Animal and Plant Health Agency. They have the right tools to deal with Asian hornets.
2. Keep Your Distance: Stay away from the nest to avoid provoking an attack. If you do get stung, it will be very painful.
3. Learn More: Find out more about these insects, which can be helpful if you encounter them.
4. Protect Your Home: If you know there’s a nest near your house, do what you can to keep them from getting inside. Seal any small openings, and don’t leave doors and windows open.
5. Get Professional Help: Always call a pest control service if you see an Asian hornet nest. They are the experts who can handle the problem effectively.
Taking these precautions and getting professional help will help protect the environment and the people around you.