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The Wall Street Journal

The World’s Largest Airports Confront a Tiny However Critical Security Menace—Wasps

BRISBANE, Australia—Each week, employees at one in all Australia’s main airports spend hours looking the tarmac and terminals for a safety risk that would carry down an airplane.

The inspectors at Brisbane Airport, in Australia’s third greatest metropolis, are looking for the keyhole wasp, an launched species that builds nests in Pitot tubes—an important instrument on the fuselage that tells pilots how briskly they’re flying. The wasps, which construct nests out of mud, can block a tube in as little as 20 minutes. They’re smaller than comparable native species and have distinctive rings on their our bodies.

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