PEST CONTROL GUIDE

Mosquitoes

Most “mosquitoes” seen in houses are in fact the harmless and unrelated Crane Fly. True mosquitoes are very much smaller but have a similar long thin abdomen, long thin legs and strongly veined wings. The head has large eyes and a prominent proboscis. There are two main groups; the Culicine mosquitoes sit with their bodies parallel to the ground, the Anopheline mosquitoes sit “nose-down” to the surface, and most have dark spots on their wings.

The commonest species indoors, often mis-identified as a gnat, is Culex pipiens. It does not bite but is almost indistinguishable from Culex molestus which does!

In the tropics, mosquitoes transmit yellow fever, filariasis, dengue fever and malaria. Even in Britain they cause those familiar itchy bites with a red swelling around them. Near estuaries or marshes, Anopheles maculipennis – a brownish species with small spots on its wings – is fairly common indoors. It bites readily, especially at dusk.

Mosquito eggs are laid in batches in stagnant water and the small brown larvae hang from the surface of the water, turning into comma-shaped aquatic pupae in four to ten days. Within a day or two the adult emerges with a thirst for human or animal blood. Only the females feed and require a blood meal before they can lay eggs. Adult female mosquitoes hibernate in dark corners of houses, sheds, cellars and other sheltered sites.

Nits

The eggs or empty egg shells of lice, that stick to hair.

Oriental Rat Flea

Carrier of bubonic plague and murine typhus from rat to man. Responsible in the past for the Black Death and the Great Plague of London.

Parasites

An organism that lives on the outside of (ectoparasite) or within the tissues of (endoparasite) another living organism.

Pharoah’s Ants

A small tropical species of ant of increasing importance in the structures of large centrally heated buildings, especially hospitals and high rise blocks of flats where it can be a serious public health pest.

Pigeons

Feral pigeons foul buildings, creating unwanted “stained glass” windows and “decorated” architecture. All sorts of pests may migrate from their nests into buildings.