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Pests around the house and garden
(A to C)

(Other pages - pests D to M, pests R to W)

REMEMBER: This sheet suggests the use of certain poisons and chemicals to control the pests - these can be dangerous. Always handle with care and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

ANTSto top of page top

The common garden (flying) ant is black, about 3-4 mm long and usually lives in outdoor or underfloor nests. Swarms of short-lived flying ants emerge to mate in August. Although garden ants are a nuisance, they are not significant disease carriers.

Pharaoh Ants are reddish in colour and about 2 mm long. They are fairly common in flats and hotels and spread disease from drains to food. They nest within the building structure and may well be hard to get at.

Remedy:

Find the nest entrance and pour boiling water over the nest site. Then apply an insecticide powder. An insecticide lacquer can be applied around door thresholds or wall/floor junctions where ants run. Ant Bait work so that the ant takes the bait back to the nest, killing the whole colony after a few days; lay in along where ants run. If you have a Pharaohs infestation, you may need to contact a local pest control contractors or Environmental Health Department.

BATSto top of page top

Bats sleep during the day, hanging upside down from the roof rafters or on an outside wall. Contrary to popular ideas, they do not like belfries as they like drought free locations. Various types are native to Britain and are usually seen around dusk as they sweep across the sky catching air borne insects. They cause no harm and under British law, can only be handled by licensed people.

Remedy:

Law protects all species of bat found in the UK as they are endangered species, it is illegal to kill or even disturb bats in their roosts. If you have a colony of bats, you should contact the Nature Conservancy Council, they will arrange for a person to visit the site and advise on the best course of action.

BEDBUGS to top of page top

The adult bug is brown and about 3.5 mm long. They feed on blood, they have a needle sharp bite which pierces the skin of a sleeping human or other warm blooded animal. After it has finished feeding, the swollen bug will then crawl away to its' hiding place to digest its' meal. You may also find them under loose wallpaper or in crevices in the furniture.

Remedy:

Try to avoid them in the first place, good cleaning and using clean bed linen will reduce the chances of an infestation. If you have an infestation, you will need to have the premises, clothing and bedding sprayed with an insecticide spray, but this is best left to the experts - either from a local pest control contractors or Environmental Health Department.

BLUEBOTTLES to top of page top

These large, buzzing flies have shiny metallic blue bodies and are 6 - 12 mm long. They are attracted to dead meat, on which they lay their eggs as well as feeding. They are often found around refuse tips, rotting animal matter, dirt and dustbins. They spread disease between their various landing places.

Remedy:

Keep dustbins clean, with tight lids and away from doors and windows, Keep meat and other food covered. Use an insecticide dustbin powder. Indoors, use a vapour insecticide strip or aerosol fly-spray. You could also fit fly screens over kitchen windows.

CARPET BEETLES to top of page top

The Varied Carpet Beetle is 2 - 4 mm long, like a small, mottled brown, grey and cream ladybird. The larvae are small and covered in brown hair and tend to roll up when disturbed. The adult carpet beetle can fly and lives outside the house, feeding on pollen and nectar. Sometimes they lay their eggs in empty birds' nests, but they also like felt, fabric and accumulated fluff in buildings. It is the larvae that do the damage, which usually consists of well-defined round holes along fabric seams.

Remedy:

Check the loft and eaves for old birds' nests or dead birds and remove them. Keep fluff and debris under control within the house, including the airing cupboards, shelves, floorboards, carpets and upholstery. Vacuum carpets on a regular basis. Lift carpets and underlay and clean floors and carpet thoroughly. An insecticide is needed to deal with a bad carpet beetles infestation and affected items can be sprayed or dusted.

COCKROACHES to top of page top

Distinguished by their very long, whip-like antennae, flat oval bodies and rapid jerky movements. The adult German cockroach is brown and about 12 mm long, the Common or Oriental cockroach is about 20 mm long. They eat all kinds of food - meat, vegetables, fruit, bread, even paper and leather. Cockroaches thrive around heating ducts and boiler rooms of large centrally heated buildings and cluster around pipes, stoves and sinks, especially in humid areas. They taint food with an obnoxious smell and may be carriers of various diseases, including serious food poisoning.

Remedy:

Control is seldom easy because it is difficult to get the insecticide to the insect. The insecticide should have sufficient persistence to kill baby cockroaches as they hatch. If this fails call in your Environmental Health Department or pest control contractor.

(Other pages - pests D to M, pests R to W)

REMEMBER: This sheet suggests the use of certain poisons and chemicals to control the pests - these can be dangerous. Always handle with care and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

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