Small, blunt-nosed rodents which occasionally enter buildings, but which normally live in outdoor burrows. Not regarded as a household pest, the water vole is a protected species.
PEST CONTROL GUIDE
Large, conspicuous buzzing insects with yellow and black striped, wasp-waisted bodies, 10-15mm long. They have a sweet tooth at one end and a painful sting at the other.
The queen wasp is larger (20mm) and she hibernates over winter, making a nest in the spring in which to lay her eggs. She feeds the grubs on insects until they develop into worker wasps, three to four weeks later. Workers, all sterile females, forage for over a mile in search of food. One nest may produce 30,000 wasps in a year.
At their peak in August and September with the youngsters reared, the workers turn to the sweet food they prefer and become a nuisance wherever this is available. If annoyed or threatened, wasps will sting and the best remedy – after removing the sting with a clean finger nail – is to apply an anti-histamine. Some people react violently to being stung with several dying each year.
A term frequently misused to describe beetles in general, but actually applicable only to a distinctive group of beetles with long, pointed “snouts” which they use for boring into whole grains, hard processed cereals such as pasta, and timber.
Mainly pests of stored cereals on farms.
A brown beetle, about 1cm long, with pronounced antennae and a tendency to emerge from damp basements and fly about near rivers or estuaries in early summer.
The grubs live in very decayed wet timber such as old jetties or wooden piles. Buildings built over old bombed sites with timbers buried under them are sometimes invaded by these beetles for a few odd days.
See Brown House Moth
Woodlice are one of the few land crustaceans. They have oval, grey, segmented bodies 10-15mm long, with 14 legs and prominent antennae. Common names include ‘slaters’, ‘sow-bugs’ and ‘pill-bugs’.
There are three species that enter houses from the garden – one of which, the pill woodlouse, rolls up into a tight ball when disturbed. Woodlice are harmless feeders upon rotten wood or other vegetable matter in cool damp areas.
They normally live underneath stones, clumps of plants, logs, or doormats, from which they may crawl into dark corners of a house. Rockeries with aubrietia are great favourites with them.