Just lately the news seems to be constantly reporting on one sensational insect infestation or another. Which leads me to pose the question is the brown tailed moth invasion the latest attack from Europe? If I was of a suspicious nature I would probably be getting paranoid about now. So let me list the claims that are coming from the news reports recently.
The Spanish Slug Invasion
A few weeks ago my local news channel was full of this “super Slug” that has invaded our shores and is wreaking havoc for landowners and gardeners alike.
This misnamed Gastropod that actually originates in Western France is spreading faster than a flu virus on a tube train. Reports indicate that most of the South East of the United Kingdom and up as far as Oxfordshire are currently under attack from this large “foreign” invader.
The worry is that so called Spanish slugs have no natural predators in this country. All indigenous slugs and snails are consumed in great numbers by a variety of creatures including:-
- Slow worms
Whilst this list isn’t a complete list of British creatures that feast on gastropods it is long enough to give you an idea of why slugs and snails have only been a nuisance in this country up until now.
These predators will not eat Spanish slugs as they are either too big (growing up to 15 cms) or are too slimy. They apparently produce so much slime that they are not appetising to the above list, thus making them hard to eradicate.
Add to this the fact that they are much more social than thier British counter parts and also that they are used to hot, arid climates then the problem multiplies nearly as much as the Spanish slugs.
According to experts the only effective way of controlling the Spanish slug population is to physically collect them and dispatch them to the big garden in the sky (or at least kill them and add them to the compost bin).
The Asian Hornet
A few days after the Spanish slug reports, I turn on the local news and there is an article all about the Asian hornet.
Once again hailing from France, the Asian hornet is roughly twice the size of honey bees and they have been spotted in the Tetbury area of the UK.
Asian hornets don’t pose a health threat to humans as such, but they are potentially devastating to honey bees and as Albert Einstein once said,
If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.
Unfortunately for the honey bees the Asian hornet loiters around the entrance to the bee hive in gangs and literally rip the heads off the bees as they exit the hive. Once all the bees are gone the hornets enter the hive and consume the honey.
According to the Guardian newspaper… “The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said on Tuesday that it had a confirmed sighting of an Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) in the Tetbury area of Gloucestershire. Officials said efforts were already under way to destroy the invasive species, using cameras and traps to locate nests before attempting to kill them off with pesticides”.
Brown Tailed Moths
Then today I turn on the news only to be told that there has been an invasion of Brown Tailed Moths just 20 miles from my home!!!
The brown tailed moth hails from Europe ( see what I mean about conspiracies) and is on the increase in the Essex countryside, according to my local news they have quadrupled in numbers over the last couple of years.
The other 2 creatures are bad enough but these blighters are actually dangerous to your health. According to the sun… “The insects, which grow between 7mm to 38mm, can trigger severe rashes, headaches and breathing problems when they come into human contact.” Now I’m worried. Apparently a single hair from the catapillars can cause these allergic reactions. To find out more about these moths head over to wikipedia for a full description.
Well that’s it for now, before you go I’d just like to say I don’t really think it’s a concerted attack from Europe to undermine the British countryside, but after all the lies and fuss over the Brexit vote and the fall out afterwards with the press and the government I’m sure someone somewhere is planning to use this latest information as a way to try to manipulate the way we think.
What do you think? Are there any other invasive species you have heard about? Tell me about it below.