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Who is this advice for? – anyone working outside, commercially or privately, and applies to gardeners, tree surgeons, farmers, builders & contractors, roadside maintenance personnel, parks & gardens staff, foot path and countryside maintenance personnel.

What are Asian hornets? – an invasive, stinging insect that is a predator of native insects and a threat to honey bees, other pollinators and our diverse Jersey ecology. They are generally black/dark brown with only one orange/yellow band across their bottom, a fine yellow “belt” at their waist and yellow tipped legs.

Where do they nest? – Usually high in trees, but also in brambles, hedges, building roof spaces, cliffs and in the ground. Early in the season, nests may be the size of a tennis ball, later on from late July the size of a football and larger. Nests are usually extremely well camouflaged amongst foliage and very difficult to see.

What is the risk? – The DANGER is if a nest is disturbed. Hornets have been known to defend their nest area vigorously. What do I do to reduce the risk? – Examine the area in which you are to be working, before you start work. Look for any unusual insect activity or anything that could be a hornet’s nest?

What then? – A representative from DEFRA, One of our Asian Hornet Action Team volunteers or pest controller will come to confirm the sighting or nest, and take appropriate action to progress the tracking and destruction of the threat.

How serious is the sting? – Individual hornets aren’t usually aggressive, but their sting can be more severe than a wasp’s and they may sting more than once. The sting may present more of a risk of a severe allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock than wasp stings. If you suffer from a sting allergy, take your usual precautions. If you are stung and feel unwell, seek medical attention immediately.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SUSPICIOUS?

STOP! Assess the situation. Stay 10 metres away and don’t touch, disturb or cause vibrations around a nest. Take a photograph if it is safe to do so. Report any possible hornet or nest sightings by using the Asian Hornet Watch App, emailing ahat@swhbk.org.uk or calling our Asian Hornet hotline on 07849 102621.

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