What Pests Do You Find In Your House
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What pests do you find in your house? We look at common pests that can infest homes in the UK. From bed bugs to foxes, we explore the problems caused by common pests.
Pests found in British homes.
UK homes experience countless pest species year-round, with different types attracted to our food waste and the warmth and shelter our houses provide.
With pest controllers being called out to properties on a quarterly basis for routine visits and more often to deal with creepy crawlies, keep reading this list to see the most common pest species across the UK.
How to identify bugs in your home
Many homeowners have dealt with a pest problem at some point in their lives. Searching for the right solution and dealing with the problem humanely is the priority for many people and exterminators.
To create a clean and safe environment at your properties, a level of control is required to keep pest numbers to a minimum. Crawling insects around your food storage is a sign of a greater health and cleanliness issue, and their presence can attract other species of pests if left untreated.
If you are unsure of what household pests you are suffering from, you can start by identifying the appearance and signs of the pest.
Dealing with bed bugs is a nightmare for many people, but they are one of the most common pests across England. Their small, oval bodies can identify them, typically measuring between 5mm and 7mm.
Bed bugs do not have working wings and hop between furniture and people. They will latch onto bedding and clothing, making themselves known to you in the morning. If you awake with a new rash of small, red spots or notice blood droplets on your sheets and bedding, you could have bed bugs.
Determining the location of a bed bug nest or entry point can be tough due to their small size, but you can sometimes detect a musty smell throughout your bedroom and house. If you can find the source of this odour, bed bugs shed skins, which can be spotted on the floor.
Termites are also incredibly small and hard to spot, measuring less than half an inch. If you do not stop them in the early stages, a termite population can easily get out of hand and cause significant damage to your property.
Termites rapidly chew and eat through wood, meaning your roofing systems can become damaged and cause problems along the line. Due to this, you can spot early signs in floorboards, furniture and walls, with pinpoint holes and decaying and damaged wooden structures becoming more apparent around your property.
Drywall can begin to discolour and droop, and kitchen tiles can crack and move out of place as moisture is introduced under the surface from the termites. Like many other insects, termites shed their wings as they age, meaning you can spot discarded wings from adults leaving the nest.
Measuring between half an inch and two inches long and appearing as wide and flat insects, cockroaches will often reside in wet and warm buildings. Although there are over 4500 species of cockroach on the planet, the UK only suffers from two: the German cockroach and oriental cockroach, appearing in a tan-to-light-brown colour.
These insects are attracted to food, food waste and bodily fluid. They may seem harmless, but they will spread disease throughout your establishment, moving through and feeding on food waste and faecal matter.
Many cockroaches are nocturnal, so you will not spot them during the day, but you may notice their 2mm droppings scattered around the kitchen. Nearby their shelter, you may see their skins as they shed five to eight times during their life cycle.
Dust mites feed, eat and sleep in our beds, furnishings and sofas, causing allergic reactions in many people.
Thankfully, they don't bother most people, but if you have an allergic reaction, you can experience itchy and watery eyes, facial pressure, cough and frequent sneezing, among many other symptoms. Dust mites are incredibly small, not visible to the naked eye. When viewed under a microscope, they appear to be white spider-like creatures.
If you are suffering from dust mites, wash your bedding weekly on a hot wash and any furnishings you believe the infestation to be in. This will kill any larvae and adult mites. Due to their size, dust mites can be hard to get rid of.
Ants are harmless, but seeing large numbers of them around your property isn't ideal for you and your family. Not all ants are the same, and over 25 species of ants will enter your home, but they can be distinguished from other insects by their antennae, thorax and abdomen.
Their appearance is typically black or brown, and they move in large groups or colonies. If you spot ant trails moving around your kitchen or home, they may have made a pheromone trail to a food source.
Their nests can resemble dirt or soil mounds, either made in your garden or hidden in walls and other spaces. Removing ant colonies can be challenging to do yourself, so you're always better off contacting a professional.
Fleas are a common pest for pet owners, with these small insects latching onto dog and cat fur and sucking blood. Flea bites are not harmful to humans, normally just being itchy and irritating.
If you notice your pet is frequently scratching, biting its fur or acting strange, you should check their fur for fleas. On average, fleas measure 1/8 inches long and are dark brown in colour, appearing more reddish after feeding.
Flea eggs will be laid into pet bedding and soft furnishings, and you can sometimes spot these small, white ovals dotted around your house. You should routinely check your pets for fleas, using treatment if you notice scratching and discomfort.
When it comes to flying insects, common house flies are common pests that no one wants in their home. Flies are commonly 10mm long, with a notable thorax, head and abdomen to identify them. Much like ants, flies are attracted to food in summer.
You will see a higher population of ants during the warmer months, especially around food areas. You should always cover food in sealed containers as flies carry over two million types of bacteria on their legs, and their tiny faecal pellets can cause and spread disease as they move across surfaces.
Carpet beetles are a common furniture beetle to find in your house, but they can be incredibly tough to spot. Adult carpet beetles will grow up to 4mm in length and, unlike other insects, will live under floorboards and in vents.
These insects can fly and lay up to 100 eggs at a time, meaning you can face an infestation at any given moment. Similar to clothes moths, you will find holes in carpets and upholstery caused by carpet beetles. They also shed their skin, a common occurrence among insects, meaning you could spot some skin dotted around your property.
There are many sufferers of arachnophobia, and these creatures with eight legs are feared by so many. Spiders will, unfortunately, enter your home at some point or another. Thankfully, almost all spiders are harmless and are actually crucial predators for killing bugs and other insects you don't want in your home.
While spiders are prevalent throughout your property, even the poisonous ones will not pose a threat unless provoked. Spider webs are the most common sign that you have these arachnids in your property, with some appearing bigger and more elaborate than others.
Spiders do, of course, lay eggs, and these are typically laid all at once in a silk ball. If this ball hatches, you will have hundreds of baby spiders in your house. Removing webs and using a form of insecticide or keeping a clean property can prevent spiders from entering.
We have all experienced these black and yellow pests at some point, and wasps are becoming a bigger pest annually. Finding a wasp nest is disconcerting and represents a much greater threat, meaning you should deal with it as soon as possible.
Throughout Spring and Autumn, wasps are more docile, but during the Summer months, they become much more aggressive, and their stings can be rather painful. You are more likely to spot wasp nests under eaves, under trees and in cavities where they are likely to be undisturbed.
The nest's appearance is not too dissimilar to a rugby ball and is made of dead wood, looking like paper. You should not tackle this by yourself and instead inform a professional to avoid angering the wasps. Similarly, hornets pose a serious threat to humans. They are twice the size of wasps and are much more aggressive.
Pests That Can Damage Your Home
Animals and pests can do a lot more than spread disease and infect us; they can also damage our homes. For reasons perhaps not entirely their fault, animals take refuge in our homes against the weather and elements but, in the process, cause damage and expenses.
To avoid damage to your property, we've compiled this list of pests to watch out for.
Rats & Mice
Rodents are known for carrying diseases, with mice and rats moving across our food preparation areas covered in urine and leaving droppings. However, they can cause much more damage than they realise, gnawing on wood and electrical wires and sometimes causing house fires.
Since they are attracted to our food sources, they will enter our homes and begin scavenging for any scraps they can find, making their homes in the walls and under floorboards.
To prevent mice as best you can, store your food in sealed containers, wipe down all surfaces, and check for any droppings in the morning. Once you have mice or rats at your property, lay traps or call an exterminator when dealing with large numbers.
Not known to many people, silverfish are small insects scavenging for animal glue, starch and microscopic mould. Their appearance is similar to a woodlouse, but they are longer in length.
The species most commonly found in the UK will damage books, photographs, wallpaper and other paper products. The best solution to removing these pests from your home is using a dehumidifier, as they prefer moist environments. Some pesticide products are ideal for silverfish, too.
Pigeons, and birds as a whole, pose more threats to humans and our homes than we realise. While they remain an active part of city life, the main concern should be on our roofing and gutters.
Bird droppings will, over time, erode roofing materials and tiles. As they roost in and around roofs, favouring gutters, these can become clogged and cause flooding and structural damage. To protect your house against pigeons and birds, store food away safely.
Ensure rubbish bins are firmly closed and you don't leave food near windows or doors. You can also invest in bird repellants for your roof, but you should contact a professional about this.
Woodworms are the collective name for wood-boring beetles. The common furniture beetle, house longhorn beetle, powderpost beetle and deathwatch beetle are the most common.
These beetles damage and break down wood as their larvae eat and are nested in the wood. To effectively remove the woodworms, you should analyse their species, which will involve a professional.
Moths are generally harmless but provide a scare for some people. However, some moth species lay larvae in carpets and clothes due to the keratin found in some products. When the larvae hatch, this results in the products degrading slowly.
On the plus side, this makes identifying a moth infestation an easier task as you look for holes in your furniture and clothing.
Washing and hoovering around the house and affected areas will be enough to remove moths and the larvae, but you should change and throw away the hoover bag after doing so. You could bring moth larvae back into your house if you don't.
While being similar to furniture beetles and woodworms, biscuit beetles will invade your food cupboards and eat harder food items. Despite their name, biscuits, vegetables, dried cereals, and even nuts are an option for them.
Routinely check your food cupboards for these insects and discard any food items if you notice them. Clean down the cupboard and all surrounding surfaces to ensure they don't return.
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