The common bedbug (Cimex lectularius) is the best adapted to human environments. It is now found throughout the world and lives off the blood of humans. Adult bedbugs are a reddish-brown, flattened, oval, and wingless. A common misconception is that they are not visible to the naked eye. Adults grow to 4-5 mm in length and do not move quickly enough to escape your notice. Newly hatched nymphs are translucent, lighter in color and continue to become browner and moult as they reach maturity. Bedbugs are generally active only at dawn, with a peak feeding period about an hour before sunrise. Attracted by warmth and the presence of carbon dioxide, the bug pierces the skin of its host with two hollow tubes.
Low infestations may be difficult to detect, and it is not unusual for the victim not to even realize they have bedbugs early on. Patterns of bites in a row or a cluster are typical as they may be disturbed while feeding. Bites may be found in a variety of places on the body.
In most observed cases a small, hard, swollen, white welt may develop at the site of each bedbug bite. This is often surrounded by a slightly raised red bump and is usually accompanied by severe itching that lasts for several hours to days. Later, however, the welts subside but tend not to disappear like those from mosquitos, and persist for up to several weeks. This usually depends on the person’s skin type, environment and the species of bug.
Silverfish are serpentine insects that require damp and humid conditions and thrive in kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms and other dark, isolated areas. Fixing leaks in pipework, improving ventilation and using dehumidifiers can help discourage silverfish.
Silverfish feed on:
They can be found in a variety of common items in households and businesses such as books, wallpaper, paintings, fabrics, carpets, coffee, sugar, pasta and other food debris.
Deny silverfish sustenance by keeping dust and debris to a minimum, vacuum rarely disturbed areas in the home and store food in containers with tightly sealed lids.
Home DIY products such as sprays can help control silverfish populations but large or repeated infestations will require professional treatment.
Woodworm is a generic term used for the larvae state of a number of different wood-boring beetle species. Generally, wood-boring beetles lay their eggs during the months of April through to September which can cause serious infestations and fatal structural damage – proving a huge problem for residential properties across the UK.
Cockroaches, known in 3 common species: Oriental cockroach (Blatta orientalis). German cockroach (Blattella germanica), American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) are pest insects infecting homes, restaurants, commercial and industrial premises. This pest is often introduced into buildings through the transportation of goods and equipment.
Cockroaches are known to carry a large number of diseases, dangerous to man, and if left untreated by a professional pest control technician, have the potential to reach epidemic proportions in a very short time span.
Cockroaches don’t have a pupal (maggot) stage and after the egg (ootheca) hatches, which can be anything from four weeks to two months depending of the variety of cockroach, the young cockroaches known as nymphs appear in alarming numbers (anything between 16 and 28 nymphs for the Oriental and American cockroach, and an incredible 35-40 nymphs per ootheca per German cockroach. Under optimum conditions cockroaches can produce two million offspring in one year, and fossil remains have been found dating back over 200 million years which makes this pest insect a true survivor.
There are more than 35,000 species of spiders worldwide, but approximately only 650 of these are found in the UK.
Although they are mostly beneficial to our environment, many people do have an inherent fear of spiders, known as Arachnophobia. This causes feelings of uneasiness at the mere sight of spiders, which in it’s extreme can lead to excessive sweating, crying and panic attacks.
Thankfully, most species of spiders found in the UK are not considered dangerous and are not pests. The few that may bite very rarely do. If bitten by a spider, it often has very little effect on most people, while a few species can cause an exceptional reaction due to their venom.
Fleas are insect pests with laterally compressed bodies, which allow them to move easily through the hairs or feathers on the host’s body (or in the case of humans, under clothes).
Fleas parasite a wide variety of animals including dogs, cats, humans, chickens, rabbits, squirrels, rats, ferrets, and mice. Fleas are not just a nuisance to their hosts, but can also cause acute irritation, infection and transfer of other parasites, such as, tapeworms.
The flea bite causes an itching sensation which in turn may result in the host attempting to remove the pest by biting, pecking, scratching etc the vicinity of the parasite.
One of the most effective ways of preventing an ant invasion is to stop these pests from reaching food sources: especially sweet, but they will look for high protein sources, such as meats. Ants are notoriously determined on the trail of food and can get into jars and boxes through the tiniest gap.
All ants belong to the order of insects known as Hymenoptera, which include some of the most highly evolved insects known to man. Ants are social insects which construct and develop complex nests with a highly organised hierarchy of roles, attributed to male and females. Sterile, wingless female ants also know as workers build nests, nurse the young and search and gather food. Reproduction is performed by fertile females known as Queen ants and the males are responsible for the fertilisation of the Queens.