Crab Lice

A human parasite. This nasty little (3mm) parasitic louse feeds on blood and sets up home among the pubic hairs. Mercifully rare in Britain it is usually, but not always, acquired through sexual contact. With a characteristic brown crab-like appearance they produce severe irritation where they bite.

Crane Fly

The familiar Daddy-Longlegs. A large mosquito-like fly with a long narrow body, which enters buildings in late summer. Harmless, although unpleasant in appearance. Its larva is the “leather- jacket” which damages grass roots.


Closely related to the cockroaches, most species of cricket live outdoors, only rarely entering premises. One species, however; the House Cricket, may live within buildings throughout the year. 16mm long and yellow brown with darker markings on head and thorax it favours warm, humid locations such as the heating duct systems of hospitals.

They are less common in domestic households than they once were largely because of the loss of the traditional fireplace. They are nocturnal and are considered a pest mainly because of the chirping of the males, produced by their front wings being rubbed together. They may damage foodstuffs and fabrics.

Death Watch Beetle

A woodboring beetle whose grubs eat old hardwood structural timbers. Practically a status symbol for owners of stately homes in which the beetle family has probably lived since they were built.

Adults rarely fly, so infestations are diminishing as old buildings are either treated or demolished. The death watch beetle does not like modern softwood house timbers.

Grubs live up to ten years inside timber, emerging as mottled grey/brown beetles about 7mm long, through exit holes about 4mm in diameter. When adult, they produce a rapid tapping sound by beating their heads against the wood as a mating call.