Giant 2.5-inch hornet resistant to poison invades British home

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An enormous 2.5inch hornet flew into a home in the UK - and took 10 minutes to die after being sprayed with poison.

It was feared the huge insect could have been a potentially lethal Asian hornet.

It flew into the kitchen of Rebecca Smith's home in Baldwins Gate, Staffordshire, and took 10 minutes to die after being covered in fly spray.

Ms Smith told the Daily Mail: "It was quite big, around 6cm and I locked it in the room because I wanted to kill it. It was quite scary and I feared for young Hannah and Jake.

"I was quite shocked as I have never seen one before and certainly didn't expect to see one at home.

"It just looked like a huge wasp, I don't know much about them but it is obvious they are quite dangerous."

Experts at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)'s National Bee Unit have confirmed that the insect is not an Asian hornet, and was actually a native European hornet.

Warnings about Asian hornets heading for Britain have been reported recently. At the beginning of May, the Government warned Britons about a swarm of killer hornets from China that are a threat to the UK's fragile honey bee population.

The deadly hornets can eat up to 50 honey bees a day and are capable of wiping out their bee hives.

The insects have already spread as far as France, where six people died from anaphylactic shock after being stung.

Ministers fear the deadly insects could cross the channel from Europe this summer and warm weather in southern parts of the UK could provide the conditions they need to survive.

In a House of Commons report in April, ministers drafted "rapid response" plans and "contingency plans for the arrival of the Asian hornet" in Britain.

It is thought the species arrived in south western France from the Far East in a shipment of Chinese pottery in late 2004.

They settled in the Aquitaine area, but spread rapidly along the waterways. Their arrival in Britain was predicted by Franck Muller of the Museum of National History in Paris back in February 2011, when he told the Daily Telegraph they would cross into Britain within "three to four years".



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