Stay Alert for Asian Hornets this Autumn

Pest controllers are being urged to remain vigilant this autumn and report sightings of Asian hornets, as there is a chance they could be back, following the first confirmed
case in the UK last September.

Richard Moseley, Bayer technical manager explains why the pests are likely to return this season.

“As part of the Asian hornet’s lifecycle, between August and October, fertilised queens leave the nest to find a secluded place to over-winter. This means that if they left before the nest was destroyed last September, they could have created a whole new population, which will peak in size again this autumn,” he says.

Additional Asian Hornets could also be introduced into the UK at any time from Europe via transported goods and vehicles”

They threaten honeybee colonies and could cause anaphylactic shock by stinging humans.

Richard points out that it is essential that even professional pest controllers do not attempt to deal with an outbreak, until permission is granted by Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) as they are still a reportable species being monitored by these agencies.

“When the sighting was confirmed last autumn, and the nest site discovered, Defra and the APHA approached Bayer for guidance in their search for an appropriate insecticide to effectively treat the pests,” explains Richard.

“Ficam® D was the product that APHA chose to control this Asian hornet case, and they liaised with the Bayer Pest Solutions Team on several occasions when planning the treatment, to ensure that this was the most suitable product for the target species,” he adds.

For more information on Asian hornets, and how to report a case please visit www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=208 or to find out about Ficam® D, head to www.environmentalscience.bayer.co.uk/Pest-Management.

Signs to look out for when identifying a case of Asian hornets:

  • Asian hornet nests can be considerably larger than a standard wasp nest
  • The nests are also often very high up in trees, but can also be found in buildings
  • While wasps enter from the bottom of the nest, Asian hornets’ entry points are around the sides of the nest
  • The Asian hornet is bigger in size than a wasp, but smaller than a European hornet
  • A dark brown or black velvety body, dark abdomen and yellow tipped legs are all characteristic of an Asian hornet