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Home Breaking Asian Hornet Sightings on the Rise: What You Need to Know

Asian Hornet Sightings on the Rise: What You Need to Know

Asian Hornet Sightings On The Rise: What You Need To Know

If you spot Asian hornets flying around your garden or while you’re out and about, you might wonder what you should do. Nature groups are warning of a potential surge in these damaging invasive non-native species.

Asian Hornet Sightings On The Rise: What You Need To Know

The UK’s chief plant health officer, Nicola Spence, has called for beekeepers and the wider public to be increasingly vigilant to the presence of the hornet after record sightings in the country last year. While Asian hornets pose no greater risk to human health than native hornets, they do threaten honey bees and other insect pollinators.

Asian Hornet Sightings On The Rise: What You Need To Know

What Should You Do If You See an Asian Hornet?

People are being urged to report any Asian hornet sightings. An app called Asian Hornet Watch, launched in 2017, provides an easy way for people to report sightings of the insect, according to the government website. The app is available for download on iOS and Android platforms.

Asian Hornet Sightings On The Rise: What You Need To Know

The Environment Department (Defra) stated that the species is not yet established in the UK, but early trapping is crucial for eradication efforts.

Asian Hornet Sightings On The Rise: What You Need To Know

The Wildlife and Countryside Link (WCL), representing 83 nature organisations, has also warned that recent flooding and warming temperatures have increased the risk of problem species already in the UK growing and spreading.

Asian Hornet Sightings On The Rise: What You Need To Know

Asian Hornet Devours a Wasp on the ‘UK Frontline’

This surge in invasive species includes not only the Asian hornet but also Japanese Knotweed, which can cause structural damage, Giant Hogweed, with sap that can cause burns to skin, and Himalayan Balsam, which outcompetes native species and increases flood risks.

Asian Hornet Sightings On The Rise: What You Need To Know

The WCL said volatile conditions have also increased the risk of new species establishing themselves in the UK. Species like the Red Imported Fire Ant, Chinese Mitten Crab, and Chinese Mystery Snail are making their way across Europe.

Richard Benwell, WCL chief executive, said, “Invasive species are already one of the biggest threats to the UK environment, from smothering waterways to outcompeting native species. They also cause billions of pounds in damage a year to homes and businesses, and even pose risks to human health.”

If you see an Asian hornet, download the Asian Hornet Watch app and report it immediately to help protect the UK’s biodiversity.

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