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A worldwide pest of homes, shops, factories, catering establishments and rubbish tips. The adults are attracted to, and breed in, decaying animal and vegetable waste. The House fly is a major health risk: a carrier of a large number of disease organisms, e.g. Salmonella food poisoning and infantile diarrhoea. Active during the day and resting at night, preferring projecting edges high up in rooms as alighting surfaces.
The Lesser house fly is commonly found indoors, especially males, which fly on irregular triangular or square courses in rooms, usually under pendant lamps.
This fly is a major pest of poultry houses and farms where it breeds in manure and other semi-liquid organic matter.
Although many species of flying insect are attracted to ultra-violet light emitted by electric fly killers, the Lesser house fly is not particularly attracted.
Cluster flies are found throughout the UK and their common name refers to their habit of forming clusters when “hibernating” – in often large numbers – in buildings. Whilst there is a specific species of common cluster fly (Pollenia rudis), there are other species of cluster fly and swarming flies which have a similar hibernating nature and these may also be involved in forming mixed populations of flies inside suitable buildings.
The life cycle of the Cluster Fly is very much dependent on the prevailing weather conditions, and in this country, two generations a year are usual but in hot summers, up to four generations per year are possible.
Cluster flies are “field” flies and in summer and early autumn they are of no consequence. However, as the weather becomes cooler, they seek out shelter in nooks and crannies in houses and other buildings. As the weather becomes colder, they search for more protection from the elements and may be seen in large numbers, particularly in roof spaces, lofts, etc, sometimes with several thousand flies clustered together.
Curiously, it has been seen that a single house or one building in a row of similar buildings will be chosen year after year for this clustering phenomenon.
Large numbers of cluster flies hibernating together are capable of producing a sickly smell and, if their local environment becomes warmer for any reason, they can emerge to fly around, albeit rather lazily. They are attracted to light, and some will find their way into living areas, and the presence of large flies in winter, usually around windows, can cause concern to the building’s occupants.
Also known as Vinegar flies, these very small, red-eyed flies have a slow hovering flight with their abdomen hanging downwards. Various species breed among over-ripe fruit, fermenting liquids, peelings, dregs and residues of drinks. Their eggs are often cemented firmly inside bottles.
Fruit flies become an unacceptable form of contamination in public houses, drinks factories, fruit warehouses, dairies, bottling plants and similar premises.
The Bluebottle is a member of a group of flies commonly referred to as ‘blowflies’ on account of their habit of ‘blowing’ or depositing their eggs on exposed meat. They are a pest of buildings where meat is to be found: slaughter houses, canning factories, meat processors and, of course, houses. Outdoors they are associated with decaying animal matter and rubbish tips.
The female fly will enter houses with a loud buzzing noise, searching for flesh for depositing eggs on, or for food. As with all flies, the Bluebottle spreads many diseases that are harmful to humans.
The Larder beetle is one member of a group of insects commonly known as Dermestid beetles. These insects attack animal furs and feathers, and feed off meat scraps found behind and beneath units in meat processing plants, renderers, butchers, fishmongers, delicatessen counters in supermarkets and, of course, beneath and behind cookers and refrigerators in the kitchen. Dermestid beetles fly and most are attracted to ultra-violet light emitted by electric fly killers.
They are particularly important pests of museums, where collections of stuffed animals can be destroyed. In this case fumigation should be considered.
Australian Spider Beetle
Of the 400 species of spider beetles, 14 are known in the UK and the Australian spider beetle is now one of the most common and widespread pests of stored products and miscellaneous food debris. The adults avoid light and feign death when disturbed.
Spider beetles are so-called due to their appearance when viewed from above. Although all insects have only six legs, the long antennae of the spider beetles gives the impression of another pair of legs and thus of a spider.
Very common in old birds’ nests, but may also be found in stores, larders and warehouses, living more as a scavenger of miscellaneous debris including a wide range of dried materials of plant and animal origin.
Sometimes called Psocids, these insects are common resident pests in libraries, homes and warehouses; often occuring in stored foods. Psocids feed principally on microscopic moulds on damp materials (glues, books, paper, wallpaper, wood and plaster) and also live on foods with a high vitamin B content. They are common pests of new houses where wood and plaster is still damp. Despite their name, booklice do not bite.
When valuable books or other items are infested, fumigation will control booklice without damaging the articles.
The commonest Flea is Cat Fleas which are usually found on Dogs & Cats, these can spread in all areas of clients premises. The Flea lays eggs which hatch out and feed off humans & pets.
The Bites from these insects are normally found around the ankle areas we advise that the pets are treated from a Vet before any treatments are carried out.
Adult Carpet Beetles are small black or brown insects, with yellow-white markings, some 3-4mm long and live outside, feeding on nectar and pollen, particularly of Spiraea plants. The larvae, which are responsible for the damage, are brown and hairy – hence the common name “woolly bears” – and eat continuously, growing to around 5mm in length before pupating into adults. They have three bunches of spiky bristles on either side of their tail segments, which cause irritation to some people.
These pests enjoy dining on carpets, woollen fabrics, dead insects, furs, hides, feathers, horns, hair, silk and bones. It can take 249-354 days to three years for varied carpet beetles to grow from an egg to an adult.
Varied carpet beetles are found in homes in attics, Oriental carpets, tapestries and wood-based wall-to-wall carpeting.
Varied carpet beetles feed on dead insects, but also feed on upholstery and carpet, so they can damage those materials. They can also damage clothing fabric.
One of the ‘clothes moths’, this species is widely distributed over the British Isles. The larvae feed in a portable case, on such things as wool and fur, but also feathers and in birds’ nests. The adults are generally on the wing between June and October, but may appear outside this period since they often live inside buildings.
This species is less commonly encountered than the webbing clothes moth. Its common name omes from the silken tube/case (looks like a sleeping bag!) spun by the larva and which is carried about wherever the larva goes.
The adult moth measures about 10-14mm from wing tip to wing tip. Its body is buff to golden with a brownish tinge, except for 3 spots on each front wing. A mature larva measures approx 10mm, has a whitish body except for a reddish brown head.
Signs of an infestation are silken cases (cigar shaped) open ended approx 1.5-10mm long, with pieces of infested material (i.e. carpet fibres) incorporated into the case. The larva surface feeds/grazes in irregular furrows or holes if infestation is severe.
Casemaking clothes moth larvae attack primarily materials of animal origin and secondarily those of plant origin. Animal origin include feathers, wools, rugs, furs, mummified carcasses, taxidermy mounts etc. Plant origin include tobacco, various herbs and seasonings, hemp, linseed etc. It is particularly a pest of feathers/down and hair/fur.
The larva moves by extending its head and thoracic legs out of its case and then drags the case along. The larva can feed from either end of the case. When it is ready to pupate the larva seeks a protected place, such as a crack or crevice which is usually off the infested material.
The larva is the damaging stage of the clothes moth. Both species feed on wool clothing, carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, furs, stored wool, animal bristles in brushes, wool felts in pianos, and fish meal in fish food. Synthetics or fabrics such as cotton are fed on if they are blended with wool. Larvae may use cotton fibres to make their pupal cases. Damage generally appears in hidden locations such as under collars or cuffs of clothing, in crevices of upholstered furniture, and in areas of carpeting covered by furniture.
Fabrics stained by foods, perspiration, or urine are more subject to damage.
There are six species of wasp commonly found in the UK but only two enter buildings. The most common species in the UK are the German and European wasps. Wasps can be seen throughout the country but the wasp ‘season’ tends to be shorter in the cooler north.
Wasps build elaborate nests made from a papery substance. This is produced when workers mix wood scraped from trees, fence posts or materials scraped from dried grasses with saliva. Nests can be located hanging from trees, bushes and hedges, or beneath roof tiles, in attics, garages, etc.
A wasp nest survives only for that season as the nest dies off in the late autumn, and although they will never re-inhabit an old nest, they may build a new one directly beside an old nest. At the height of the season, there may be as many as 25,000 wasps in a very large nest!
The Black garden ant is to be found throughout the UK, particularly where soil is of a sandy nature. It is common around homes and the workplace, the worker ants entering through cracks in brickwork and around windows in search of food.
These ants follow trails, so when a rich source of food is found, this information is communicated back to the nest resulting in large numbers of ants following a trail from the nest back to the food source. Nest openings can be distinguished by small piles of fine earth. Although not known to carry any diseases, most people would rather discard than use food which has been fed on by ants.
Hornets are larger than wasps and have a brighter orange colour. They are sometimes confused with wasps and most people who call the pest control service to report a hornets nest, invariably turn out to have a variety of wasp instead. Although the two types of insects can look a little similar, hornets are larger (20-25mm) and have brown and yellow or black and white bands. Also, hornets nests are much larger than wasps nests. Hornets are actually quite docile and usually only sting when really provoked.
The Common, or Oriental cockroach, is well-established throughout the UK. These insects prefer cooler environments to the German cockroach and tend to be found deep within building fabric.
This makes infestations of the Common cockroach difficult to control, as getting insecticide to the harbourages can be difficult, if not impossible. These pests can be found almost anywhere, from kitchens to cellars, in wall cavities, around fire places, in rubbish dumps and virtually any work environment.
These insects are often confused with ground beetles.
Sometimes referred to as the “Steam fly” due to their preferred habitat of hot, moist environments. They can be a major pest of laundries, hospitals, kitchens, restaurants, bars and even blocks of flats.
German cockroaches can survive quite happily inside coffee machines, under bar counters, around the door seals of refrigerators and even in sink overflows.
The large number of eggs in an egg capsule along with the relatively short hatching time can quickly produce very large infestations. they spread diseases by cross contamination of food surfaces. A small number of cockroaches can soon result in a major infestation due to the nymphs reaching adulthood very quickly with the ability to breed fast in the right conditions.
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