UK wide panic after 'killer Asian hornet' spotted in Devon as invasion begins
26 June 2019, 11:48 | Updated: 26 June 2019, 11:57
The Asian hornets continue their invasion of the UK after first being spotted on the Channel Islands
Residents in Devon were sent into panic mode after believing they'd spotted several dangerous Asian hornets.
The Asian hornet - also known as Vespa mandarinia - have a fatal sting that can kill those with allergies.
After making their way to the Channel Islands, fears grew that the dangerous insects would fly over to the mainland.
The most recent sighting came last weekend in the Devon area.
The vigilant citizen told DevonLive: "At first I thought it was a hummingbird, it initially looked too big to be an insect...
"It was about 4cm long, and mostly black but with an orange tinge to the tail... It's wing span was enormous - a horrible, ugly looking thing."
However, the publication sent the citizen's photograph to the British Beekeepers Association and on this occasion it was later confirmed to be a large European hornet.
The European hornet can still be aggressive, but it lacks the dangerous venom of its Asian counterpart.
The British Beekeepers Association have claimed that Asian hornets are most likely to be spotted in the south of England.
Recent warm weather followed by a rainy season is the perfect climate for hornet breeding, meaning numbers are expected to increase dramatically within the coming weeks.
The species is native to Asia and was introduced by accident to France in 2004. Asian hornets reached the Channel Islands and the UK in 2016.
The NHS recommends wearing insect repellant and covering exposed skin in order to reduce likelihood of being stung.
If unfortunate enough to encounter a hornet then experts suggest remaining calm and attempting to slowly move away. Under no circumstances should you ever wave your arms around or attempt to swat a hornet.