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How Many Asian Hornets Have Invaded The UK This Year?

EPC Pest Control Services

Published: May, 2023

Over the last few months, we’ve had a number of people contact us about Asian hornets. These people desperately want information about these pests. They also want to know what they can do about these hornets and if they are in danger. But here’s the real question: are these pests something you should actually be worried about? What’s more, how many have actually invaded the UK?

How many Asian hornets are currently in the UK?

First understand this, Asian hornets are not nearly as big a problem as some people make out. The reason why so many people are concerned about them is mostly because of news reports. These sensational reports make out as if we’re being invaded by thousands of these pests. As if millions of hornets are rampaging up and down the country. As if our very lives are in danger. Fortunately, none of this is actually true.

Now, what we’re saying isn’t meant to diminish the issue. Yes, these pests are a serious problem, and may become more of a problem as time goes by, which is why we offer 24 hour pest control. But the point we’re trying to make is that this really isn’t something you have to worry about, unless you are a beekeeper. Asian hornets can destroy bee colonies by eating thousands of bees.

But what are the numbers? Almost negligible. And if you don’t believe us, well, just look at government statistics. According to publicly available data, there were only 23 confirmed sightings in the past 6 years. These sightings lead to the discovery of 13 nests, which have since been destroyed. Even more importantly, there were only two sightings of Asian hornets in 2023.

How do Asian hornets reach the UK?

What you must also understand is that almost all of these sightings occurred in areas on the South coast. The reason why is because these pests have come over from Europe. Another  way these spring insects come is by first flying over to channel islands like Jersey. Once established there, they then make their way to the UK. Along with this, these pests may also have come over in lorries, or imports from China.

If you’re living away from the coast, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll encounter one of these pests. For now, they are sticking in coastal areas, and are being contained there. The public have been told to remain vigilant and report any sightings. It’s possible the numbers could grow. In France and Spain they have caused problems and we don’t want that here.

At the end of the day, it’s impossible to know how many Asian hornets have invaded the UK and if they’re going to be a health and safety issue. The point is that their numbers are low and this problem is being handled by the government. Ultimately, some of what you’ve read about these pests is alarmist nonsense. Yes, they are coming into the UK, but not in the numbers some people would have you believe.

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