House Insect Infestations
Infestations of insects in UK houses can be broadly put into two categories, that of health, and that of pest types.
A potentially serious health hazard can be the cockroach. There are two main species in the UK, the Oriental, and the slightly smaller German cockroach. This hardy insect can be very difficult to destroy once established.
It has a preference for a warm, steamy environment, which explains its success in the tropics, but here in the UK, it does pretty well, its toughness a legend explained by the fact it has existed pretty much unchanged for around 250 million years.
Cockroaches live in cracks and crevices as near to a warmth source as they can safely get, such as behind ovens or around fridge motors and washing machine motors.
These creatures are totally omnivorous and will eat just about anything, including each other if nothing else becomes available.
They are potential vectors of diseases such as gastroenteritis and dysentery, if they contaminate humans’ food.
Fleas are not uncommon in households with pets, and the cat flea is the most prevalent in infestations.
These are host specific, and although they can exist on human blood, they do need the host animal to be able to breed. In lean times they can hibernate for several months at a time until a food source presents itself again.
Bedbugs are an unpleasant occurrence in the house. They live not only in bedding but in nooks and crannies in the bedroom, and again can be difficult to destroy.
They breed very quickly, and feed on human blood. Active particularly just before the dawn, they draw their blood from whichever part of the body they find, and feed for five minutes or so before returning to their hiding places.
Ants can be considered both pest and health problem, depending on type.
The most common is the pest Garden ant. These ants explore their territories and if this brings them indoors, they will likely find a source of food. Once established, if a nest is made, they can be destroyed, but it will take time.
The Pharaohs ant can be a health threat, due to its small size and incursive habits, leading to the possibility of disease transmission during their foraging such as salmonella.
They nest in large colony numbers, with multiple queens, and if disturbed, some members of the colony may migrate to establish new colonies, infesting larger areas.
All domestic pests can often be controlled with chemicals, traps and products available on the high street, but for more serious infestations, it’s often preferable to call in professional pest management contractors to fumigate your home, eradicate all traces of the pest and implement an effective future pest control program to prevent a recurrence of the problem.