PEST CONTROL GUIDE

Flour Beetles

Small reddish-brown beetles about 3-4mm long that feed on flour and cereal debris in warm buildings. May be accidentally introduced into the larder in packaging or in the ingredients themselves.

Commonest species are the Rust Red Flour Beetle and the Confused Flour Beetle (which in turn is often confused with the Rust Red Flour Beetle).

May produce five generations in a year and adults can live for over a year. The eggs stick to flour particles and the yellow-brown larvae, about 6mm long, crawl about very actively.

Flour Mite

A minute, slow-moving, white or pale-brown creature only a barely visible 0.5mm long, with eight legs. A pest of cereals and cereal products especially if they are damp.

Flour Moths

Moths whose grubs feed on stored food – especially cereals, chocolate, cocoa,dried fruit, nuts and any sort of flour product.

Adults are mottled grey and brown. 10-15mm long. Larvae are dirty white with brown heads and grow up to 12-15mm long, spinning a light, matted webbing as they feed.

Both grubs and adults, therefore, can be pests in the kitchen, to which they may be introduced from shop or mill.

Foxes

Many people are concerned about foxes affected by mange. A scruffy looking fox is not necessarily an ill fox. When moulting in spring, foxes look quite rough but this does not mean they are mangy.

They are typically found in woodland and open country, but their presence in urban areas is increasing. Red foxes are opportunist feeders and eat insects, earthworms, fruit, berries, wild birds, small mammals and scraps left by humans.

Red foxes are primarily active at dusk and night. They are solitary, but they very occasionally group together in a pack. Foxes forage alone in different parts of their territory, which may extend from 25 to 5,000 acres, depending on the habitat.

Faeces and urine mark territories. Reproduction Vixens come into heat once a year for one to six days. They give birth to four to seven cubs in a den (also called an earth), after a gestation period of 51-53 days. The cubs are weaned after seven to nine weeks, and become sexually mature after a year. The number of cubs and the time of year in which the vixen gives birth depends on food availability.

Fruit Flies

A family of very small (about 3mm) flies, some with prominent red eyes, characterised by a slow hovering flight in which the abdomen hangs down. All are associated with rotting fruit and vegetables or fermenting liquids. One species breeds in sour milk, for example, in the residue of forgotten milk bottles.

Fungus Beetles

A general term for various very small (3mm) beetles that feed on moulds in ill-ventilated, damp buildings.