- The adult bed bug resembles a small brown disc, about 3.5mm long the size of a match head. It is wingless but the legs are well developed and it can crawl up most vertical surfaces.
- The incidence of bed bugs is now much increased. They are often found in multi-occupancy buildings with rapid resident turnover, such as hostels, holiday camps and blocks of flats.
- The females produce 2 to 3 eggs every day throughout their lifespan, which can be several months. The elongated eggs are cemented in cracks or crevices close to the hosts. There is no larval stage.
- Cockroaches are distinguished by their very long whip like antennae, flat oval bodies and rapid, the adult German cockroach is 10 to 15mm long. The adult Oriental cockroach is 20 to 24mm long.
- They are rarely able to survive out of doors , but thrive around the heating ducts and boiler rooms of large centrally heated buildings e.g. hospital, bakeries, hotels and restaurants.
- They often cluster around pipes, stoves and sinks, especially in humid areas.
- These small (2mm) wingless insects are flattened side to side, red and brown in colour with backwardly directed spines and legs designed for jumping.
- All adult fleas are parasitic on warm blooded animals. Larval stages live in the nest of the host and feed on skin, feathers and, most importantly, the blood rich faeces of the adult flea.
- The Cat Flea is by far the commonest species of flea and readily bites humans. The Human Flea and the Bird Flea are next in importance. Dog fleas are rare, although other species may become temporarily attached to dogs.
- Flies are serious nuisances and transmit diseases through their foul feeding and breeding habits. They walk over food sources and rotting matter indiscriminately, carrying bacteria.
- Apart from the biting flies, all species feed by vomiting saliva on to the food surface, treading it in and sucking up the resulting liquid. In the course of doing so, the fly contaminates the food with bacteria from its gut and its feet. Thus, it may transmit food poisoning, dysentery, typhoid or cholera. The eggs of parasitic worms may also be carried by flies.
- Electric fly traps are very effective for a wide range of fly species, and there are various chemical treatments that can also be effective as part of a treatment
- The variegated Carpet Beetle is 2 to 4mm long, like a small, mottled brown, grey and cream ladybird. The related Fur Beetle is black with one spot on each wing case, and there is also a rarer Black Carpet Beetle. The larvae of carpet beetle are small (about 4mm long), covered in brown hairs.
- As the grubs grow, they moult and the old cast off skins may be the first signs of an infestation. The adult Carpet Beetle feeds only on pollen and nectar of garden flowers but lays its eggs in old birds’ nests, felt, fabric or accumulated fluff in buildings. It is the larvae from these eggs that do the damage.
- Carpet Beetle damage consists of fairly well defined round holes along the seams of fabric where the grubs bite through the thread.
- There are several species of clothes moths, all of them characterised by folding their wings tent-wise along their backs, the adult Common Clothes Moth is 6 to 7mm long with pale, plain golden buff wings fringed with hair, the rarer Case Bearing Clothes Moth, is more dull and has three dark brown spots on each of its wings.
- The adults do no damage when feeding. It is the larvae, which hatch from the sticky eggs, that eat wool, hair, etc.
- Common worldwide, they are found indoors all year round.
- The House Mouse, and sometimes the Long Tailed Field Mouse, seek the warmth and shelter of buildings for nesting sites and food. Their presence is usually detected from their dark coloured droppings or damage to food products, packaging or building fabric.
- Mice may seriously damage water and gas pipes, electric cables, packaging and food products. Many instances of electrical fires and floods have been attributed to them.
- Mice can also capable of carrying many diseases, particularly food poisoning.
- They can be very destructive to crops and property. Rats can quickly overpopulate when they live in a place where they have no predators, such as in certain cities, and their numbers can become hard to contain.
- Rats have a significant impact on food production.
- Rats can carry over thirty different diseases dangerous to humans, including Weil’s disease, typhus, salmonella and bubonic plague.
- Ants are highly organised social insects, with each nest being centered around one reproductive female; the queen, and her sterile daughters; the workers. It is the foraging workers that invade buildings in search of food.
- “Flying ants” are the reproductive males and females. These reproductive females are future potential queens. They have a nuptial swarming flight during a few days in augest, typically just after stormy weather. The males die shortly after mating and the females seek out nesting sites to build new colonies in the following spring.
- Black Ants usually nest in soil but can also be found living under paving stones and concrete. These ants can become real nuisance pests because during foraging, the workers may enter domestic, commercial and industrial premises – particularly food preparation areas – in search of food.
- She hibernates over winter, making a nest in the spring in which to lay her eggs.
- One nest may produce 30,000 wasps in a year. At their peak in August and September.
- There are two species of wasp native. However there have also been several other European species recorded here. Wasp nests may be suspended from trees, nest boxes, bee hives, rafters and dormer windows.
- The feral pigeon is descended from the rock dove and is well adapted to life in an urban environment. The dependence of the feral pigeon on man for food has led to it becoming a serious pest.
- Both old and modern buildings contain a large number of ledges, girders and gaps which can be used by feral pigeons as nesting sites. Large numbers of nests are often found inside lofts of houses and commercial premises.
- If conditions are favourable the birds will breed throughout the year, but the main breeding period is from March to July. Two white eggs are laid and are incubated by both sexes for 17-19 days.
- Termites can build mud tubes across many feet of concrete, brick, cinder block, treated wood, or metal termite shields into even the upper floors of a structure.
- Termites eat wood from the inside out, often defying detection for years while doing extensive damage to the wood – and threatening the integrity of your home.