Saturday 18 November 2017

Deadly Asian hornets have been spotted in Ireland, expert claims

An Asian hornet feasts on a honey bee
An Asian hornet feasts on a honey bee

Daniel O'Connor

Deadly Asian hornet wasps have been spotted in Ireland, a pest control expert has claimed.

It was claimed last weekend by a pest control expert from Co. Westmeath that the Asian hornet had been spotted along border between Co. Donegal and Co. Derry.

Kieran Lambert, owner of Lambert’s Pest Control in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, spoke to Independent.ie about the potential damage Asian hornets could do.

He said: “The problem is the damage they do to the honey bee, they will seek out and kill them.

“The honey bee is already in decline so every effort is being made to try and protect it.”

However, the Irish Pest Control Association (IPCA) have since confirmed that the insect in question was more than likely a horntail wasp.

“Suspected reports of Asian hornet in Ireland are most often of the native Greater horntail wasp”, IPCA General Secretary Helena Bracken said.

“The European hornet is not known to be present in Ireland but it is a species that may also arrive. If you see a big stinger it is not an Asian hornet.”

The IPCA have made an identification guide for the Asian hornet available, and is still urging anybody who may spot one to report their sightings to the National Biodiversity Data Centre with a photograph if possible, so that it can be verified by the expert.

At least six people have reportedly died in France from anaphylactic shock after being stung by the hornets, they are also known to wipe out bee colonies.

They are recognisable by their long stinger and distinctive yellow tips.

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