Asian hornets that can kill a human with just one sting have been spotted all over the United Kingdom. As per some scientists, these creatures could cause over £7 million (about $8.700.000) worth of damage.
The two-inch Asian hornets’ sting is so powerful and filled with such a large amount of venom that can make victims go into anaphylactic shock, dying in a few minutes after being attacked, they are allergic.
Asian hornets are smaller in dimension than regular hornets in the U.K. and have distinctive yellow-tipped legs and a dark brown body, with a dark abdomen. The group, originally from south-east Asia, was first accidentally brought to France in 2003, with the first spotted Asian hornet in the United Kingdom back in 2016.
Now, specialists are again warning people with regard to the insects, which prey on other insects, including bees. Research from France says that the only way to manage the population of these hornets is by destroying their nests and assemble bait traps.
The Costs Are Outrageous
The research tried to asses the pace at which the population can spread, with the results suggesting that eradicating Asian hornets would be £10.5 million (about $13.069.350) for France, £8 million ($almost 10.000.000) for Italy and £7.6 million (about $9.400.000) for the U.K.
Research author and professor Franck Courchamp said: “In 2006, only two years after the hornet was first observed in France, three departments were already invaded and the cost of nest destruction was estimated at 408,000 euros (about $446.168). Since then, the estimated yearly costs have been increasing by about 450,000 euros (about $492.097) each year, as the hornet keeps spreading and invades new departments.”
He added that ‘the current study presents only the first estimates of the economic costs resulting from the Asian hornet, but definitely more actions need to be taken in order to handle harmful invasive species – one of the greatest threats to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.’