A father says he and his family have been left terrified after their home was invaded by a huge, aggressive Asian hornet.
Billy Rockett initially thought the insect he caught in his home in Whiston, Merseyside, was a giant wasp.
But when the dad-of-three researched the insect online, he became convinced it was in fact an Asian hornet.
Billy, 41, told the Liverpool Echo : “The cat chased it in from outside into the back kitchen. If it had stung the cat, it would have been dead.
“The insect landed on the side of the bath, so I grabbed a coffee jar, scooped it up, and transferred it into a bag.It was massive, about two inches long. It was only when I researched it online that I realised it was an Asian hornet and I needed to hand it over to the relevant authorities.”
Billy said his 10-year-old daughter was so fearful of the insect that she had gone to stay at her nan’s house.
He added: “I’ve put the hornet where it can’t get out, in a bag in the conservatory and locked the door.”
The Asian hornet has recently arrived in France where it is spreading rapidly. It is a highly effective predator of insects, including honey bees.
There has been concern that this exotic insect could reach the UK, either by hitching a ride on imported goods or simply by flying across the channel.
Superficially similar to the native European hornet, the Asian hornet has a characteristically brown or black velvety body with a dark abdomen and yellow tipped legs. Only the fourth abdominal segment is yellow.