RESIDENTS in the Stroud district are being urged to report sightings of Asian hornets to the appropriate authorities.

Stroud District Council’s pest control officers have received an increased number of calls in recent weeks from people who believe they have spotted an Asian hornet, although suspected sightings should be reported to the Great Britain Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) online or via an app, not the district council.

The Asian hornet is a highly aggressive predator of native insects and poses a significant threat to honeybees and other pollinators.

It is important to take care not to approach or disturb a nest.

Asian hornets are not generally aggressive towards people but an exception to this is when they perceive a threat to their nest.

Gazette Series: Asian Hornets

Smaller than native hornets, Asian hornets can be identified by their orange faces, yellow tipped legs, velvety bodies, darker abdomens, and are active during the day, but never at night.

European hornets have brown tipped legs, long yellow antennae, and a mainly yellow abdomen with an obvious `waist.’

According to DEFRA there have been 22 confirmed sightings of Asian hornet throughout the UK in 2023 so far.

They are active mainly between April and November, with a peak in August and September.

Cllr Chloe Turner, Chair of SDC environment committee said:“As a beekeeper, I’m very aware of the threat to our native pollinators from Asian hornets.

"However, although there has been an increase in sightings in England this year, the vast majority of hornets people come across will be the native European variety.

"Hopefully the guidance we’re sharing today will help residents distinguish between the two.

“Our experienced pest control officers can deal with wasps and hornets’ nests for a fee, but please only call them if you want a nest treated on your property.”

A team from Stroud District Council’s offers pest control for rats and mice, fleas, cockroaches, bed bugs, ants, cluster flies and other insects including moths and carpet beetles.

Businesses including factories, caterers, retailers, schools, and farms can request a free-of-charge quotation for an annual contract to prevent and control pests.