Pest Types

Common Wasp (German Wasp)
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  • Size

    10mm to 20mm.

  • Shape

    2 pairs of wings with membranes and a narrow waste.

  • Colour

    Very distinctive yellow and black stripes across torso.

  • Biology

    Queens usually leave hibernation in April, roughly around the middle of the month. The queen will immediately construct a hive with between 10 and 20 chambers for the purposes of laying eggs in each. Hatchlings will be sterile females that help with the construction of the hive. By late summer the hive will usually reach a population of around 3,000 to 5,000 wasps. Males and new young queens begin to be born near the end of summer as well, at which point they mate and leave the hive to find places to hibernate over winter.

  • Food

    Most sweet foods with a high sugar content including: jams, fruits, fruit juices, meat and carrion including materials found in bins.

  • Habitat

    Common throughout the whole of the UK. Tends to favour anywhere that is handling food types mentioned above (including bakeries, factories, confectioners). Waste disposal including bins and skips are also an attraction. Wasps can become a problem for any premises, especially in late summer when their numbers reach their peak.

    Wasps are most aggressive when they are disturbed near their nest, if a nest is in a public location or an often travelled location (such as a walkway, entrance or garden) may become a serious problem quickly. Wasps expecially the larger hornets can often cause damage to wood when they chew to collect materials for their nests. They can also cause damage to tree bark and saplings (die-back).

  • Other Info

    Unless you are experienced in dealing with wasps you should never attempt to destroy or disturb a nest yourself. If you find a nest your should always contact a qualified pest controller. The reason is simple, there may be several thousand workers in the nest or around the local area that will react angrily and defensively to any intruders. And they can all sting! A wasp sting can also provoke an allergic reaction in some people and large numbers of stings can cause serious health issues on their own.

Bed Bugs
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  • Size

    About 6mm long

  • Shape

    Wingless, oval, flattened unless recently fed.

  • Colour

    Red-brown changing to dark mahogany colour if recently fed.

  • Biology

    Egg – nymph – adult. Up to 200 or more white, capped eggs laid at a rate of 4-5 a day glued to crevices and harbourages. The nymphs have 5 moults taking from a few weeks to several months depending on conditions and food supply.

  • Food

    Mammalian blood (principally human), emerging at night to search for prey. Feeding usually takes about 10 minutes. They can ingest up to 7 times their body weight in blood at any one meal but can go for prolonged periods of up to a year without feeding.

  • Habitat

    Hide by day in crevices in beds, furniture, wallpaper, skirting boards and emerge when hungry. May be carried on luggage.

  • Other Info

    No other information available.

Blue Bottles (Blow Fly)
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  • Size

    11mm long. Wingspan 25mm.

  • Shape

    Bristly body. Very large compound eyes.

  • Colour

    Dull metallic blue body with stiff bluish transparent wings.

  • Biology

    Adult flies mate and egg laying commences 4 days later. Eggs laid in clusters in fresh or older meat, meat products and offal. Game singled out. Larvae moult 3 times and wander off to pupate anything up to 100 metres. Larvae grow to 18mm and the pupae is approximately 10mm and a dull mahogany brown. The fly emerges 2 weeks later.

  • Food

    Any meat product especially game and bacon products.

  • Habitat

    Meat processing plants, commercial canteens and any food processing factory.

  • Other Info

    No other information available.

Brown House Moths
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  • Size

    8mm.

  • Shape

    Fringe of hairs on wing tips when at rest.

  • Colour

    Uniformly shiny gold flecked with dark brown

  • Biology

    Single eggs laid singly. Larvae hatch 10 to 40 days depending on temperature. Larvae feed and moult for 2 to 5 months. Pupae formed and hatches in 2 to 8 weeks.

  • Food

    Dry vegetable matter, cereal products.

  • Habitat

    Sometimes encountered in warehousing, flour and provender mills, cereal processing.

  • Other Info

    No other information available.

Brown Rats
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  • Size

    Up to 25cm/10inch.

  • Shape

    They have a sturdy body, with small eyes and ears. The snout is either slanted or blunt.

  • Colour

    Brown or grey

  • Biology

    Rats usually produce between 4-7 litters per year with an average litter size of 7-8.

  • Food

    Rats need to drink water whereas mice can survive on the water content of stored grain (approx 12-14%) without ever having to drink. A rat will take all its food (approx 30gm/day) from just one or two locations and will feed once or twice a night. Very important in relation to bait treatments and cleanliness.

  • Habitat

    Places where they can live – Rats are highly adaptable and we have found nests in places as varied as oven linings and industrial freezers. Rats will burrow 1-2m into the ground and live in compost heaps, deep litter and of course sewers.

  • Other Info

    Rats have brought us the plague, Weil’s disease, and have been responsible for outbreaks of food poisoning. They dribble urine upon everything on which they walk and so contaminate bulk food stocks and food preparation surfaces wherever they go. They must gnaw hard surfaces to keep their constantly growing incisor teeth short. They damage electricity cables, lead pipes, wood, plastic and wet cement.

Cluster Flies
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  • Size

    6mm long. Wingspan 10mm.

  • Shape

    A largish fly with a distinctive bristly yellowish black marked abdomen.

  • Colour

    The thorax is covered with yellow-gold hairs. Large reddish compound eyes.

  • Biology

    Eggs laid loosely on damp soil and in leaf litter. Larvae hatch after a week and seek out earthworms. They bore through the wall of the victim’s body. After it has grown to full size it bores its way out of the worm and pupates in the soil. Depending on the weather 2 generations are normal but up to 4 are possible. Flies hatch from the pupae and live outdoors. They start to enter buildings in large numbers in late September onwards into November when the temperature starts to fall.

  • Food

    As above, the earthworm is the food source of the larvae. The adult fly feeds on nectar from flowers. They only enter buildings in order to hibernate.

  • Habitat

    South west and mainly south facing buildings are favoured. The flies will invade cladded buildings silos. Will enter roof spaces and voids via small gaps and crevices in the fabric. They will cluster on the exterior of buildings in huge numbers prior to crawling into the harbourages. In the spring the warmth revives them and they start to leave buildings in numbers.

  • Other Info

    No other information available.

Common Black Ants (Garden Ants)
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  • Size

    2 to 3mm.

  • Shape

    Elbowed antennae. Large head, slender thorax, characteristic waste, long legs.

  • Colour

    Shiny black.

  • Biology

    The queen ant lays a variable number of eggs. 3 to 4 weeks later legless grubs hatch. 3 weeks later larvae mature. 2 weeks after pupation adult ants emerge. Late summer winged and matures males leave nest and mate and the males die whilst the females find new nest sites. Many thousands of ants live in a nest in a social hierarchy tending to various functions.

  • Food

    Sweet spillage’s, although outside of human habitations they have a wide food range including much organic matter.

  • Habitat

    A wide range of locations. Ant colonies can sometime be in close proximity to human dwellings. Entering buildings to forage for food. Sometimes nests can be found well inside factories with the ants exploiting proofing defects such as cracks in the building fabric.

  • Other Info

    No other information available.

Common House Flies
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  • Size

    6mm long. Wingspan of 10mm.

  • Shape

    Distance between eyes wide in female and narrow in male. Vein bends sharply before reaching edge of wing. At rest wings are spread.

  • Colour

    Grey/black chequered abdomen which is slightly hairy. Blackish stripes on thorax.

  • Biology

    Up to 150 eggs laid in batches at a time but up to 5 batches in their lifetime. Larvae (maggots) hatch in 8 to 48 hours depending on temperature. The larvae have three moults and reach 12mm in length. Larval skin cast turning into a puparium. The adult fly hatches 3 to 4 weeks later.

  • Food

    In any high protein material from animal waste to refuse and food material especially if fermenting or rotting, moist material is favoured.

  • Habitat

    Throughout the UK. Enters food premises through all openings and exploits bad hygiene practices, compactors and refuse storage areas and returns sections ideal.

  • Other Info

    No other information available.

Fleas
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  • Size

    1/8 inch (3mm) long.

  • Shape

    Adult fleas are about 1/8 inch long, wingless, and have three pairs of legs. The hind pair of legs is modified for jumping. Fleas are vertically flat like a fish, and can move easily through the hair of a host. The immature stage or larval stage of the flea looks like a small white worm with a dark head. Flea eggs are small and white.

  • Colour

    Very dark in colour.

  • Biology

    Female fleas lay eggs loosely in the host's hair (usually a cat or dog). The eggs drop off and hatch into tiny, hairy, worm-like larvae. The larvae are usually found where the animal sleeps, along baseboards, in carpets, or on furniture. Larvae pupate and new adults emerge. The new adults seek a host immediately and must get a blood meal to survive and produce eggs.

  • Food

    Fleas will bite humans-especially when they cannot find their usual animal host or if they become very numerous. Their bite often will leave a small, red, irritated area on humans.

  • Habitat

    The cooler and drier fall weather brings a reduction in the number of household fleas. However, house pets usually maintain small flea populations throughout the winter, with the numbers increasing slowly in the spring and exploding in mid-to-late summer.

  • Other Info

    No other information available.

Fruit Flies
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  • Size

    2mm long. 3 to 4mm wingspan.

  • Shape

    Fat bulbous body. Simple wing venation. Feathery antennae. Cross striped abdomen.

  • Colour

    Greyish yellow body with large often orange eyes.

  • Biology

    700 to 800 eggs laid at 20 to 25 per day in the foodstuff for the hatching larvae. Larvae have 3 moults and they migrate to pupate. The egg to adult stage can be a short as 8 days at 30oc.

  • Food

    Varies but is usually sour mil, rotting and fermenting fruit e.g. grapes and bananas, fruit juices, tomatoes and dried fruits.

  • Habitat

    Vinegar factories, breweries, dried fruit washing plants, tomato processors, fruit drink producers and warehouses where spillage has occurred.

  • Other Info

    No other information available.

German Cockroaches
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  • Size

    12 to 15mm.

  • Shape

    Long antennae. Winged and can fly but does not readily. Wings full length in male but 2/3 length in female.

  • Colour

    Mid brown, with a yellow brown thorax having two dark brown stripes.

  • Biology

    Oethecae produced 4 to 8 per female each containing 36. Incubation approx. 17 days at 30oc. Nymphal stages 6 to 7 to adult. Life span 128 days male and 153 female.

  • Food

    Omnivorous including any organic matter including human waste.

  • Habitat

    Warm moist environments, inside tray wash plant, inside switch boxes and panels inside machines conduits etc. Can swim and will climb smooth surfaces easily.

  • Other Info

    No other information available.

Grey Squirrels
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  • Size

    Head and body length is 25 to 26.5cm plus 22cm of tail.

  • Shape

    Weight approx 500gm. Both sexes similar size.

  • Colour

    Winter coat is grey above with a white underside. Summer coat is shorter, sleeker and brownish grey above.

  • Biology

    Gestation 45 days. Litter size 1 to 7 (average 3). Litters per year 2. Weaning period 10 weeks. Maturity 10-12 months. The life span of the female is between 4-6 years. The life span of the male is between 2-3 years.

  • Food

    Nuts, fruit buds and shoots to fungi, birds’ eggs and nestlings. In gardens their diet comes from food put out for birds. Surplus food is often buried for retrieval at a later date.

  • Habitat

    Mainly resident in broad-leaved and mixed broad-leaved/conifer woodland but also in copses and hedgerows. Commonly resident in urban areas where it lives in parks and gardens wherever there are trees.

  • Other Info

    Grey Squirrels must not be confused with the Red Squirrel which is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

House Mice
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  • Size

    2 inches

  • Shape

    The tail is longer than the body with large ears and eyes and a pointed snout.

  • Colour

    Reddish/brown

  • Biology

    House mice breed throughout the year and can become pregnant within 48 hours of producing a litter. There are usually about 6 mice to a litter and females may produce as many as ten litters (about 50 young) per year. It takes 18 to 21 days for gestation, and 35 days for a mouse to mature. Most mice live anywhere from 15 to 18 months.

  • Food

    Mice normally feed 15 to 20 times per day and will eat pretty much anything a human will eat. Food preference is cereal or seed, but they also gnaw through insulation or wires, sheet rock, storage boxes, etc. Mice are nibblers. They do small amounts of damage to many food items in "home range", rather than doing extensive damage to any one item. While mice are nibblers and feed many times in many places, they have two main feeding periods, at dusk and just before dawn. They have to consume about 10% to 15% of their body weight every 24 hours and require extremely small amounts of water.

  • Habitat

    They make their nests out of the same types of soft materials as rats, and as many as 3 females may use the same nest. They commonly nest in insulation in attics, also in stoves and under refrigerators. Mice do not travel far from their nest, about 12 to 20 feet.

  • Other Info

    Good sanitation is essential for effective long term control. Mice can enter any opening larger than 1/4 inch, making it virtually impossible to completely mouse proof a building. The control of mice can be widely varied, depending on the individual situation. It may range from physically altering the conditions allowing the infestation, such as covering holes, filling cracks, etc. to baiting or trapping.

Moles
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  • Size

  • Shape

  • Colour

  • Biology

  • Food

  • Habitat

  • Other Info

    No other information available.

Mosquitoes
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  • Size

    8 to 10mm long. Wingspan 18 to 20mm.

  • Shape

    Wings with full vein patterns. Long dark legs. Well developed piercing mouthparts.

  • Colour

    Grey black thorax and abdomen.

  • Biology

    Eggs laid on the surface of standing often stagnant water but some species prefer salt and others brackish water. The boat shaped eggs are known as rafts and float horizontally. The larvae hatch and are aquatic coming to the surface to breath. Larvae moult 4 to 5 times over 4 to 8 weeks. Pupation takes place in the water. Adults hatch a couple of weeks later. Hibernation takes place in late autumn by the females only whilst the males are short lived and die prior to winter.

  • Food

    Males feed on nectar of flowing plants. Females bite animals including man for the blood meal.

  • Habitat

    Found throughout the UK and will readily enter buildings attracted by lights and often to seek harbourage, damp alley ways and areas behind buildings in the shade not receiving much sunlight are favoured. Water butts, guttering and empty containers that fill with water will support breeding colonies.

  • Other Info

    No other information available.

Oriental Cockroaches (Common Cockroaches)
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  • Size

    17 to 30mm.

  • Shape

    Very shiny and very flattened. Female has very reduced wing buds and the male wings are longer to almost the end of the abdomen. Long flexible antennae. Cannot fly but very fast running. Cannot climb smooth surfaces.

  • Colour

    Dark brown to black.

  • Biology

    Oethecae produced 5 to 10 per female each containing 16/18 eggs. Incubation 48 to 80 days at 20oc to 25oc preferred temperature. Nymphal stages 7 to 10 to adult. Life span 60 to 250 days depending on temperature.

  • Food

    Omnivorous feeding on any organic matter including human waste to soap, candles, paper etc..

  • Habitat

    World wide in mainly heated buildings, drains, dustbins, cellars, boiler houses, ducting, lift shafts. Can squeeze into very small cracks and will exploit bad fitting coving and door jams etc.

  • Other Info

    No other information available.

Rabbits
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  • Size

    Size 34 - 45cm with large ears and eyes.

  • Shape

    Weight approx 3-4lbs. Both sexes similar size.

  • Colour

    Greyish/brown

  • Biology

    Mating occurs throughout the year with most litters born between February and August. Litters range in size between 3 and 12, after a gestation period of 28-33 days, and the kittens are weaned after 28 days. Due to this rapid breeding potential rabbit populations can withstand high mortality from natural causes, so control efforts by man must add to these, not merely replace them, if direct control is to be effective. Because of the size of the effort required, and the rabbit's inherent capacity for population increase, complete eradication is impractical. Instead, the aim should be to reduce rabbit numbers to levels at which damage is economically acceptable.

  • Food

    They damage crops and grassland by digging shallow holes to get at roots as well as eating the grass/crops. They will also destroy many garden plants and small trees by digging and feeding upon.

  • Habitat

    Rabbits have a burrow system known as a warren, and tunnels can be 1-2m long. The nest at the end of the tunnel is lined with grass, moss and belly fur. They use regular trails, which they scent mark with faecal pellets.

  • Other Info

    Rabbits do not respect boundaries and the most effective results will be achieved if management action is undertaken on adjoining land at the same time in a co-operative exercise. Fencing areas and then eliminating the population in the fenced areas can be undertaken. But control may take some time.

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