Agriculture, Countryside and Land Management Services have reiterated advice that hedges, trees and brambles should be checked for signs of Asian hornet nests before the annual cutting and clearance work gets underway.
According to Guernsey laws all roadside hedges must be cut between September 15 and 30 meaning some nests which are currently hidden could soon be revealed.
Following the discovery of some nests and hornets in Guernsey already this year, the advice now issued is not only directed to those landowners who will be hand cutting their hedges but also to those using tractor mounted equipment.
ACLMS said disturbance of a nest results in "vigorous defensive activity by the hornets" and it is worth taking the time to check for signs of a nest before cutting, rather than risking being stung by one or more insects, it said.
In Guernsey, Asian hornet nests have been found in trees, a hedge, brambles, and a hedgehog house. In Jersey, nests have also been located in the roof space of a building and in a compost heap, therefore it is important to check both high and low for signs of a nest as they use a range of sites and are not just to be found in trees.
Asian hornet nests are generally spherical in shape and light brown in colour, and in daylight hours will be busy with Asian hornets flying to and from the nest and visible around the outside of it.
A total of seven nests have been found in Guernsey this year to date. Of these, five have been treated. Treatment is being arranged for two nests which have been located near the Bella Luce Hotel in St Martins and near St Peters Church. Efforts are currently being focussed to track a further nest in St Andrews as well as a potential nest near Perelle after sightings have been confirmed in both areas.
However, it is possible that Asian hornet nests are located in other areas of the island where there have not yet been confirmed sightings, therefore it is important that members of the public across the island remain vigilant.
The public are encouraged to report any potential sightings of Asian hornets as the policy is to try and locate and destroy the nests in an effort to eradicate this predatory non-native species.
Most of the sightings reported have been of native wildlife and the general public are encouraged not to kill the insects that they find.
If a suspected hornet is sighted, the public should take a good quality close up photo if possible and email this to firstname.lastname@example.org also including with your sighting report the following information:
Or alternatively, the sighting can be logged through the free iPhone and Android recording app: Asian Hornet Watch, or telephone 234567 with as much information as possible.
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