IDENTIFYING YOUR PEST
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH PEST I HAVE?
There are many types of pest in the UK and it can be difficult for customers to describe what they look like, so below you'll find useful information that will help you identify your pest and learn more about the appearance, habits, behaviour, life cycle and diet of the most common pest species. We'll also explain how to detect and control an infestation, plus several useful prevention tips for a pest-free home. Of course we can't go through every single type of pest there is so please get in touch if you need further information or assistance with your pest problem.
If you think food may be infested it is best to throw it out. Seal food in plastic containers or screw top jar (tightly closed) and leave it for about 4 months. If there is no sign of the beetle within this time, it is probably not infested. Empty and clean all cupboards and surfaces, paying particular attention to cracks and crevices. Spray with an insecticide for use with crawling insects, making sure you reach corners.
Make sure the insecticide is approved for use in food rooms (the label should state this). Put items such as flour, rice or biscuits in to sealed containers. If beetles are in other rooms, it is likely that they are travelling from a nearby bird's nest. Check the loft space and chimney area to make sure there are no old bird's nests. If there are, remove and dispose of them and spray with insecticide as before. Always read the label of an insecticide before you buy it and follow the safety precautions during use.
False Widow Spiders
False widow spiders can deliver a non-life-threatening but painful bite which can cause swelling. It’s actually quite difficult to get bitten by a false widow. Due to their sedentary nature false widows like to stay in their webs. Bites can be the result of it getting agitated, for example a person putting their hand through a web or sitting on one by mistake, but the risk of being bitten by a false widow spider is still relatively small.
Tips to deal with False Widow Spiders
Seal up your home as much as possible
Switch your outdoor lights off
Remove vegetation away from the perimeter of your house
Keep a tidy house
Vacuum spiders webs
Set out glue traps
Apply an insecticide
Place a few horse chestnuts in each corner of the house
Spray spiders with a water/vinegar solution
If you already have a silverfish problem inside your home, spray the home's perimeter with a residual insecticide. Spraying the inside perimeter with a narrow band helps kill silverfish as they move throughout the structure. Spraying the outside foundation wall will keep a variety of bugs from entering the structure including silverfish
Eliminate sources of excessive moisture such as faulty plumbing and condensation. Silverfish love the humidity. Using a dehumidifier will reduce the moisture content of the air that is essential to silverfish survival. Other dehumidify methods include ventilate closed rooms and attics, eliminate standing water, run an air conditioner, regularly vacuum cracks and crevices around the home with a narrow tip. Remove easily accessible food sources by storing pantry food in tight containers.
The next method of attack is to use slug bait pellets to kill as many slugs as possible out of doors and so reduce the numbers available to enter the house. The pellets can be scattered thinly or placed in small heaps under tiles. The instructions on the packet regarding handling slug pellets and the protection of domestic animals should be followed. The pellets can be purchased from garden centres or hardware shops.
Pellets not only kill slugs but also attract them. Therefore, they must not be used indoors.
Woodlice are easily eliminated with insecticidal sprays and dusts, follow manufactures’ instructions on the label. When applying insecticidal powders and sprays, keep children and pets away from the area until surfaces are totally dry. Apply powders to areas out of reach of children and pets.
Pesticide sprays such as any water based crowing insect killer are very effective in killing woodlice however, treatment indoors alone will probably not control the problem totally. Woodlice originate from outdoors and to gain good and effective control, you will need to take action outside the home in addition to internal control measures. Ensure that you eliminate damp areas in your home by either heating more effectively or stopping leaking taps or water dripping through poorly fitted worktops, baths and sinks. Seal as many gaps as you can find with a good sealant and ensure door draught excluders are not damaged.
To prevent Psocids, always keep your dry foodstuffs, cereals and the like, in a cool dry well ventilated place. Clean out your cupboards regularly but if you use water, always make sure that they are completely dry before you put the food back. When you are cooking or boiling the kettle or even just using the washing machine or tumble drier, make sure that the kitchen is properly ventilated.
If they appear you can get rid of them by removing the affected food immediately and dispose of it outside. Check everything else in the cupboard. Food cans and bottles will still be all right but make sure that there are no insects hiding under the labels. Treat the infected area with a good household insecticide which is suitable for use near food. Clean out all the dust, crumbs etc. then make sure the cupboard is completely dry. Having done that, find the cause of the humidity and cure it.
The best answer to this question is do nothing. You should consider yourself quite lucky. You can enjoy watching these fairly harmless creatures come and go, as they go about their business pollinating your flowers. However I realise that you are reading this information because you are worried about where the nest is located and what might happen.
Bumble Bee nests are not like Honey Bee nests, they last only a few months, and are usually small enough to hold. Bumble Bees are not as ferocious as Wasps, They are unlikely to sting unless they feel extremely threatened, and even then the sting is no worse than if you brushed against a nettle. Bumble Bees do not cause any damage, so should be left alone.
A number of different types of Solitary Bee reside in and around our homes. The most common are probably the Masonry Bee and the Miner Bee. Because of their frequent association with humans, these insects often evoke a great deal of anxiety. Solitary Bees rarely sting, unlike Honey Bees, Hornets and Wasps they have no queen or nest to protect, and although there may be many hundreds flying around your property they are not actually a swarm, but all working individually.
Sometimes because these bees arrive in large numbers it is difficult to know if a bee is social or solitary. Generally they can be distinguished by looking at the nest or burrow to see how many individuals are coming and going from a single entrance. Social Bees exist in colonies associated with an elaborate nest, thus many individuals will be active at the nest entrance. In comparison Solitary Bees do not have large nests, there is only one individual in each burrow and will be spread out over large areas of the ground walls or roof tiles.
Masonry Bees only attack weak and crumbling mortar. They do not cause enough damage to physically weaken buildings. The easiest way to prevent these bees from nesting in walls is to re point the building. Sometimes these bees will find their way indoors but if a window is left open will usually find their way out.
Although any insect spray will kill these bees there is no need to treat, normally these bees are only active for a few weeks of the year and do not pose a threat to humans pets or buildings.
Swarms of bees occur because the first new queen to hatch in the hive kills off all the other new queens before they hatch and then drives off the old queen. The old queen leaves the hive taking half of the workers and drones in the hive with her in search of a new home. Ideally this would be an empty hive somewhere.
Unfortunately more often than not she has to make do with a disused chimney, air brick or some other cavity in and around domestic dwellings. During this search the queen will stop and rest and the workers and drones will gather round her. Scouts will then be sent out to search for suitable locations to set up home.
Whilst the bees are in flight or resting they are usually very placid and unlikely to attack, having said that there are horror stories of bees attacking people and pets because of disturbance. Feral swarms of bees often take up residence in disused chimneys. Often they can live there for years without causing too many problems for the occupiers of the property.
Problems do occur when the comb which is made out of wax or the honey starts to fall down the chimney causing problems below, or when the swarm starts to split in spring the old queen may move into other cavities close by. Once the queen has taken up residence in the fabric of the building the only course of action is to kill the swarm using insecticides.
Once treated if possible the comb should be removed. Even if it is not possible for the comb to be removed the entrances should be sealed to prevent other feral swarms from moving into furnished accommodation. This will also protect domestic hives whose workers may take the contaminated honey back to the hive killing off the colony.
These ants nest in the soil, under paving stones or in the footings of walls where the nest entrance may be distinguished by small piles of fine earth which have been brought out. Though most varieties of ants are able to sting they seldom do so. Apart from their general nuisance value in houses, they call attention to themselves in particular by their swarming mating flight on a hot sunny afternoon in July or August when they may be seen in vast numbers simultaneously about the district.
The best thing to do is treat pets. Vacuum carpets and furniture to help remove eggs. Wash pet bedding at 50 degrees. Fleas can live up to 2 weeks after treatment so results are not always immediate and it can take up to 4 weeks to fully eradicate. Use a residual water based insecticide (available from any hardware store). Exclude pets from treatment area until dry. Cover fish tanks and turn off air pumps until treatment area is dry.
Look for blood spots (appear as black spots that turn red when dabbed with damp cloth) on bedding, around head boards are a favoured location, pictures on walls, under mattresses and in mattress crevices, often carried on second hand furniture. Mainly harbour in cracks and crevices.
A bedbug monitor to identify the pest can be purchased and placed under mattress, behind headboards etc. Vacuum carpets, furniture to help remove eggs and wash bedding at 50 degrees. Anything delicate that cannot be washed can be bagged and frozen for two weeks.