USA

Welcome to summer! Here are some terrifying insects that could ruin your travel plans

Families and friends around the country can’t wait to get back outside now that lockdown restrictions are finally being eased.

But invasions of dangerous insects could turn out to be the ultimate buzzkill — with stinging hornets and giant wasps set to boom this summer.

Scientists have already warned that the lockdown has made the perfect breeding ground for swarms of hyper-aggressive mosquitoes.

And bite prevention expert Howard Carter also said repellent might be hard to get hold of after the UK Government announced it had been given to troops to protect against the coronavirus.

Every summer, a number of dangerous and sometimes deadly insects threaten to flood the UK as the mercury soars.

With lockdown relief finally on the way and temperatures rising, you need to be extremely vigilant when heading outside.

Here are the creepy critters to keep a careful eye out for.


Asian hornets

Fears are growing that Britain could be hit by swarms of deadly Asian hornets this summer.

If a sting victim is allergic to the venom, they could go into anaphylactic shock and die, often with minutes.

A 73-year-old man in Spain was killed by a swarm of the critters earlier this month while walking on the beach with his horrified wife after the country’s lockdown restrictions were lifted.

The hornets arrived in large numbers on Jersey last summer, a location that is their staging post for flying to the UK.

There were worrying reports of even more deadly “murder hornets” in the British Isles too this month, but thankfully it was a false scare.

Our current balmy climate is the perfect breeding ground for hornets.

Hot spells could also encourage the insects to move inland as they seek water to survive.

Asian hornets are largely found in Japan arrived in France inside Chinese pot plants in 2004.

But now they are increasingly common across the Channel.

Asian tiger mosquitoes

A female Aedes albopictus mosquito feeding on a human host, 2002.
A female Aedes albopictus mosquito feeding on a human host.Getty Images

This week’s scorching temperatures has also raised concerns about Asian tiger mosquito swarms.

A plague of hungry mosquitoes feared to be carrying the deadly Zika virus reached the UK following a period of scorching weather in June 2019.

The insect is native to South East Asia but has been gradually spreading through Europe via the transport of goods.

They’ve been present in northern Italy, southern France and the Netherlands in recent years and are moving north around 93 miles a year.

In the UK, we’re more used to seeing a species known as Culex pipiens — but there have been more sightings of the Asian tiger mosquito in the past few years.

In 2016, eggs were found for the first time in a small village in Kent.

Since then, experts say there have been more incidences where the pesky bugs have reached our shores.

German ‘super’ wasps

The German wasp (pictured) looks similar to the common wasp.
The German wasp (pictured) looks similar to the common wasp.Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you see a wasp in Britain, it will most likely be either the common wasp or the German wasp.

These species are very similar in size and color ⁠— predominantly yellow with black markings.

German “super” wasps have invaded Britain before, typically during hot summer weather.

They’re supposedly bigger and angrier than the wasps we’re used to in Britain.

They have three black spots on their face and can sting repeatedly.

Colonies can contain up to 10,000 insects and they can instantly send signals to mobilize the entire nest to attack an intruder.

‘Vampire’ spiders

The tube web spider has made its way to the UK from Europe on trade ships.
The tube web spider (pictured) made its way to the UK from Europe on trade ships.Getty Images/iStockphoto

Summer 2019 was overshadowed by fears that the UK could soon be invaded by a vicious species of spider.

The green-fanged, eight-legged beasts known as tube web spiders have been known to bite if they are disturbed.

Originally from Mediterranean climates, they’ve made their way to the UK through shipping routes.

One Brit recently reported receiving a vicious tube web bite on her head at her home in Bristol.

A bite is said to feel like a bee sting, but it’s also been compared to a “deep injection” and the pain can last for several hours.

It’s feared warmer temperatures may push the spiders out into the open in order to take advantage of the higher numbers of flying insects across Britain.

Blandford flies

Blandford flies are native to the UK and have a bite that can cause groin swelling and blisters.

The fly normally bites ankles and legs as it flies low to the ground and is most common during May and June.

Periods of hot weather can encourage the insects to breed.

Warnings about the insects came from Public Health experts last year after cases were reported in Herefordshire.

The Blandford fly is a tiny 2-3mm bloodsucking black fly which lives near areas of water like rivers and lakes.

In the past, victims have reported suffering groin swelling and blisters.

Flying ants

Flying ants (pictured) generally pose no threat to humans but can be a problem in large numbers.
Flying ants (pictured) generally pose no threat to humans but can be a problem in large numbers.Getty Images/iStockphoto

Flying ants aren’t largely dangerous to humans, but they are a nuisance when they gather in huge swarms.

These swarms are typically linked with Flying Ant Day, when male and female ants head out of their nests in a bid to look for other ants to mate with.

But recent research showed that the idea all flying ants swarm in a single day is a myth.

There is no single day when ants fly all at once. Rather, there is a “flying ant season”, a period of two to four weeks in which any hot spell can cause the insects to swarm.

Flying ants are mostly harmless to humans, but they do have a strange effect on seagulls who can appear drunk after eating a few due to formic acid they expel.

If you’re unlucky, they can infest and wreak havoc in your home.

In 2019, billions of flying ants swarming over the south of England formed clouds so big they showed up as rain showers on weather radars.

The swarm of insects hit the counties of Hampshire, West Sussex and Dorset and were captured on the Met Office’s radar systems.

It was described as “insect clutter” ⁠— following on from Flying Ant Day on July 17.

Football news:

MLS is back: almost 9 minutes of protest against racism and a giant virtual adidas logo in the center of the field
Solskjaer on MATIC: I'm Glad he stayed. We need experience in a team with children who run around
Germany manager Bierhoff: Havertz is a player for Real Madrid
Buffon's agent: Gianluigi should become a coach. He can lead Juve
Barcelona won the court against Santos in the Neymar case. The Brazilians demanded more than 61 million euros
Jamon, cheese, wine, tortilla and the best view of the stadium. The only La Liga club playing in front of the fans
Vinicius test for coronavirus, showed deviation from the norm. Real expects new results by the evening