British drivers face 'danger' when travelling abroad with rise of Asian hornets 'wreaking havoc' inside cars

British drivers face 'danger' when travelling abroad with rise of Asian hornets 'wreaking havoc' inside cars

WATCH: Mark Harper supporting Britons with the Plan for Drivers

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 21/05/2024

- 11:18

Updated: 22/05/2024

- 17:55

Asian hornets kill bees and travel to the UK through vehicles crossing the channel

Experts have urged drivers to be aware of a record number of Asian hornets which nestle in vehicles, potentially causing chaos on the roads.

The hornets hide in sheltered spots including in caravans and larger vehicles and have the power to “wreak havoc” on drivers returning from abroad.

Drivers travelling to Europe have been warned about the impact hornets can have on UK wildlife including the predatory nature of killing bees.

The hornets use vehicles as their vessel to travel from their European home to the United Kingdom with motorists urged to remain vigilant.

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Asian hornet

Queen hornets nestle inside small spaces in vehicles


Graham Conway, managing director at Select Car Leasing, said: “While the Asian hornet isn’t yet established in the UK, and all efforts are being undertaken to ensure that doesn’t happen, the creature has made a home for itself elsewhere in Europe.

“It’s thought that Asian hornets accidentally arrived in France in 2004 after stowing away in a shipment of goods from East Asia.

“Since that point, the Asian hornet hasn’t just settled in France, it has also flown to other European countries, including Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany.

“And if you plan to travel to those countries in your vehicle this summer, you need to check it thoroughly before getting back on the ferry or Eurotunnel to make sure you’re not inadvertently carrying extra ‘passengers’.”

Conway explained that Asian hornets can hitchhike in vehicles, caravans, roof racks and trailers.

The Government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency has cautioned drivers about the rise in Hornets this summer.

Nicola Spence, the UK's chief plant and bee health officer, explained that the public can help “take swift and effective” action to “stamp out” the threat posed by Asian hornets.

She added: “While the Asian hornet poses no greater risk to human health than other wasps or hornets, they can damage honeybee colonies and harm other pollinators.”

The Asian Hornet Action Team warned drivers that the Queen hornets hide themselves in sheltered spots to hibernate.

This includes boats, caravans and trucks, so as the traffic resumes, "we are likely to see the influx of this invasive insect increase again,” the team said.

However, while drivers should be aware of hornets, the team stated that “under no circumstances” should they attempt to disturb a nest.

Asian Hornets have been known to defend their nest area aggressively.



Motorists have been told to leave the windows up to avoid anything coming inside the vehicle


To avoid having hornets in the vehicles, Conway suggested drivers leave the windows rolled up and the air conditioning on.

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