Keyhole wasps may threaten aviation safety

Over a period of 39 months, invasive keyhole wasps (Pachodynerus nasidens) at the Brisbane Airport were responsible for 93 instances of fully blocked replica pitot probes — vital instruments that measure airspeed — according to a study published November 30 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Alan House of Eco Logical Australia and colleagues. As noted by the authors, the results underscore the importance of risk-mitigating strategies, such as covering pitot probes when aircraft arrive and setting up additional traps to intercept the wasps.