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Types of Pests

Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions have produced an A-Z of pests guide, including the most common public health and nuisance pests, to enable members of the public in Essex and Suffolk to make an educated choice when considering types of pests and pest control services. We specialise in pest removal throughout Essex and Suffolk. We can assist you with a confidential, humane and fast pest removal service for a wide range of types of insects, birds and animals.
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Ants are the most prolific insect in the world, numbering up to 14000 different species. The most common of these types of pests to affect homes and businesses in the UK, is the Black Garden Ant. It comes into our homes in search of sweet foodstuffs and other sugar sources and once found it will create a pheromone trail for the rest of the colony’s foragers to follow. More…

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Australian Spider Beetle

Spider Beetles have slightly bulbous bodies with long legs, resembling small spiders at only about 3-4mm in size. The Australian Spider Beetle is mid-brown in colour and is by far the most common of the Spider Beetles. They are common types of pests within warehouses and the food industry. The larvae infest all kinds of dried foodstuffs including; grain, spices, fish meal, dog biscuits and dried fruit by boring holes in packaging and damaging the goods inside. Adults may feign death when disturbed. More…

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Bed Bug

The Bed Bug is becoming an increasing type of pest in our homes, hostels, bed and breakfasts and hotels and even on overnight sleepers and cruise ships. They are attracted to heat and carbon dioxide and so feed on human blood while we sleep. They do this by temporarily anaesthetising the bite spot allowing them to feed uninterrupted. More…

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Biscuit Beetle

Also known as the Drugstore beetle, the Biscuit beetle is small at only about 3mm long and is reddish-brown in colour. They are a type of pest found in our larders, stock rooms, bakeries and warehouses. They are attracted to foods such as cereal products, nuts, spices, biscuits, packet soups, dog biscuits, dried meat, dried vegetables and pasta. Under favourable conditions, they will multiply very quickly and spread to infest other local foodstuffs. Infested foods must be disposed of. More…

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Black Rat

The Black Rat, also known as the Old English Ship Rat or the Roof Rat, can be light brown to black in colour. Although rare in the UK, it can still be found in some ports. It is a significant type of pest to humans and can carry a number of diseases of which the Bubonic Plague is probably the most well known. Others include Typhus, Weil’s disease, Toxoplasmosis and Trichinosis. The Black Rat is an agile climber and can gain entry to buildings via the upper floors. Given a plentiful supply of water and food both Black and Brown Rat populations will thrive. More…

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Brown Rat

The Brown Rat is the most common type of rat in the UK and like most wild rats it is a carrier of multiple diseases including Weil’s Disease, E coli and Salmonella. This makes it a significant type of pest and a huge health risk to humans. It is also responsible for causing untold damage to property as it can chew through woodwork and even electric wiring, leading to potential fire hazards. More…

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Carpet Beetle

Carpet Beetles love our homes. The central heating and wall to wall fitted carpets provide the ideal living and breeding environment for them. Like Clothes Moths, these types of pests feed off of the natural fibres contained in our carpets, curtains, clothing and fabrics and can cause extensive and expensive damage if left unchecked. More…

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Clothes Moth

Of the many different types of moth, the Clothes Moth is perhaps the most common types of moth and the most problematic of this species, since it loves to feed on natural substances like wool, cotton and silk. A buff-brown colour, the female will look for dark and undisturbed places to lay her eggs, close to, or even in, the folds of material or carpet. These materials are the primary food supply for the larvae and they can cause a lot of damage very quickly if left unchecked. More…

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There are many thousands of different species of cockroach in the world today, though just two types of cockroach cause any real pest problems for us here in the UK. They come into our homes in search of sweet and floury foods, preferring to hide in warm damp places like kitchens and bathrooms. They are very fast on their feet and hate daylight. They can often be seen scurrying away back into the dark if they are ever uncovered. More…

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Confused Flour Beetle

Flour Beetles are usually 3-4mm long and reddish-brown in colour. The commonest species are the Red Rust Flour Beetle and the Confused Flour Beetle. The Confused Flour Beetle is one of the most commonly reported types of pests in the food industry, usually infesting stored flour and grain. They damage food stocks through their feeding, but also by their dead bodies and faecal pellets. In addition to creating a foul odour, the beetles’ presence can also encourage the growth of mould. More…

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This harmless insect is similar to the cockroach and grasshopper. Usually about 16mm long, yellowy-brown in colour with darker markings on head and thorax, crickets prefer warm dry conditions but have adapted to winter and can survive through it. Compost heaps are a favoured habitat in summer and winter will bring them inside in search of warmth. For this reason permanently heated buildings are a favourite. Attracted to heating ducts they can make pests of themselves and cause problems in this area as well as possibly damaging food and fabrics.

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Feral Pigeon

The Town Pigeon, as it is often called, is originally descended from the Wild Rock Dove. They gather together and will chase competing birds away or frighten them off because of their large numbers. Their principal diet is one of nuts and berries but Town Pigeons have become used to eating scraps and are partial to discarded take-away food. They are also very bold and will make pests of themselves as they scavenge for food, thinking nothing of eating straight out of the hand if they get the chance. More…

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Small, with very strong hind legs, these types of pests can jump huge distances and as such can spread rapidly throughout the home. Some species of flea specialise in living on specific animals, but they can live just as well in clothes and bedding. Fleas feed on the blood of their hosts and their bites can cause intense irritation in most humans. Flea pest control has to be through a thorough approach. More…

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Flour Moth

Adult Flour Moths are usually about 12mm long and mottled grey and brown in colour. The larvae spin a matted webbing as they feed. Although flour is the favourite food, grains, bran, and breakfast foods are also attacked. The webbing and matting of the larvae often cause the greatest amount of damage through its contamination of foods or the clogging of industrial machinery. More…

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Flies will lay eggs in soil or on plants. They will also lay eggs in dog and cat fur and frequently on rotting flesh. Different types of fly pests have developed tastes for different things, some will eat nectar or plant sap, some prefer blood and other insects, but all are attracted to dead and decaying matter. This brings them into contact with bacteria, which they pick up through their eating habits and on their feet, leading to them causing illnesses like food poisoning and dysentery or spreading diseases like Typhoid or Cholera. More…

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Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are very small (about 2-3mm long) with a fat bulbous body, some having large, often red, eyes. They are characterised by a slow hovering flight and can be found throughout the world, in homes, food processing plants, warehouses, grocery stores, wineries, restaurants and bars. They are most commonly found in areas where beer or soft drinks have been spilt and in bins where empty bottles are stored. Improved hygiene will help with pest control, as will the screening of windows and doors. These types of pests tend to be more abundant in late summer / early autumn as this is the late harvest season when the fruit is plentiful and may be overripe. More…

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Fur Beetle

Adult fur beetles are usually 4-6mm long, black and oval with a white spot on each wing case. They will feed on flowers having ventured outside in search of light and food. However, it is the larvae of the fur beetle that is the real type of pest; as they require foods of an animal origin. The larvae can damage the upholstery by feeding on items made of wool, silk, feathers, fur and leather. More…

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Ghost Ant

The Ghost Ant is a type of pest that likes to feed on sweet things including fruit but will also happily gorge on grease and other insects, alive or dead. They prefer damp, moist conditions and will come inside to find them in dry weather periods. Ghost Ants are becoming more common in heated buildings. These types of pests are a similar size to Pharoah Ants with a pale body and dark thorax and head. More…

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Gnats look like mosquitoes but differ in that they like to spend their time near potted plants or anywhere around rubbish tips or bins. These types of pests will congregate in moist areas like soil, compost and leaf piles and around rotting wood.

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Green Bottle Fly

This is a type of Blow Fly which can be found in most parts of the world. They are large (about 9mm long), buzzing flies with a bottle-green sheen on their backs. The young maggots prefer to eat dead tissue leaving the live tissue untouched and this led to them being used in maggot therapy before the widespread use of antibiotics. More…

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Grey Squirrel

The Grey Squirrel is now one of the most frequently seen mammals in our towns and parklands. A joy to behold in the right numbers and in the right setting, they can become problematic if they overpopulate the wrong areas. This can lead to them being determined a type of pest, particularly if they have entered a property and caused damage through chewing. With their strong teeth, they can chew through the fabric of buildings and make short work of electric cabling which can lead to obvious fire risks. More…

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Ground Beetle

Ground Beetles are an important source of natural control in our gardens and agriculture in general. They feed on many creatures considered real pests including Aphids, Weevils and many Fly pests, as well as Slugs and Snails. Although mostly found in gardens, these types of pests can sometimes stray indoors. They are large (up to 25mm long), normally shiny black in colour and harmless. More…

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Honey Bee

It’s difficult to imagine the honey bee as a type of pest but in certain circumstances, it can be. A swarm of honey bees will move away from an overcrowded hive to form another and this breakaway swarm may alight on the side of your home or in a nearby tree. They may even come to rest in the fabric of your home. They can be very defensive of their hive and can sting if disturbed – a professional must be called to deal with them. A Bee-keeper may be prepared to take on the swarm.

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Hornets are twice the size (up to 35mm long) of normal Wasps and brown and yellow rather than black and yellow in colour. Hornets are rather rare in the UK, found more commonly further south where it is warmer. They normally nest in areas such as hollow trees as opposed to houses. Away from the nest Hornets are relatively peaceful. However, if you do come across a Hornet you are advised to refrain from blocking its flight path and avoid any interference with its nest. They can be quick to defend their nest when threatened and it is advised to call a pest control professional to deal with this pest. More…

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Indian Meal Moth

The Indian Meal Moth is usually 8-10mm long. The outer forewings are bronzy reddish brown and the inner halves are light grey to yellow. It likes to feed on dried food products like cereal, pasta, nuts and rice etc and this is where they will lay their eggs, which quickly hatch in favourable conditions. The larvae are usually yellowish with a light brown head. Control is best achieved by improving stock rotation. In the home contaminated foods should be disposed of. More…

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Larder Beetle

Larder Beetles (also known as ‘Bacon Beetles’) are fairly large at 7-10mm, oval and black with a distinct pale band across the front of the wing cases. Both adults and larvae are scavengers, feeding on scraps of food, especially meat. Birds’ nests can sometimes become infested, which can lead to an infestation within the home. More…

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Masonry Bee

Masonry Bees are solitary insects. They are normally harmless, their sting seemingly being unable to penetrate human skin. Masonry Bees nest in a wide range of cavities and can present a problem due to their ability to tunnel through soft brick mortar to build their nests, thus damaging buildings. Re-pointing of brickwork is often the best remedy.

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The European Mole is the only mole currently making a pest of itself with green keepers and grounds people in the UK. They have a highly developed sense of smell which they use to distinguish between approaching male and female moles. This is useful since they are extremely territorial and will fight long and bloody battles to retain their ground. More…

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The Common House Mouse is amongst the best-known type of household pest. Extremely common and quite brave, they will enter homes to seek out food supplies and a nesting site. Mice are known to eat virtually anything and anything that they don’t eat they will contaminate with their faeces and urine causing food poisoning and significant damage to property. More…

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Mosquitoes are well known for carrying a disease. They are responsible for more deaths and illnesses worldwide than any other insect. Among the diseases, these types of pests transmit to humans are Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever and Malaria. In the UK they cause swollen red itchy bumps due to the liquid they inject when they bite. Mosquitoes lay batches of eggs in stagnant water. Therefore, breeding sites such as guttering, water butts and birdbaths should be cleaned out regularly.

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Plaster Beetle

Plaster Beetles are very small, at only about 2mm long, and usually almost black in colour. Plaster Beetles feed on moulds and thrive in damp conditions. They will not damage property, but may contaminate foodstuffs. Control can be achieved by drying and ventilating the infested area. More…

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Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle

The Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle is very small, usually about 3mm long, dark rusty brown in colour with characteristic ‘teeth’ along the pro-thorax. It is almost identical to the Merchant Grain Beetle. The Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle is the principle grain pest in the UK with a typical habitat being warehouses, mills, silos, food processing factories and grain stores. It prefers to feed on damaged grain and lays eggs at an alarming rate under favourable conditions. Breeding cannot take place below 18°c. More…

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Silverfish are carrot-shaped, wingless insects, usually about 15mm long and silver-grey in colour. They are drawn to food storage locations like cupboards and pantries. Damp areas are favoured. Silverfish are nocturnal scavengers and will look for food under the cover of darkness. During daylight these pests will hide in dark recesses, between or under floor coverings and even under wallpaper. They will occasionally damage paper, but usually feed on residues of starchy substances such as glues, wallpaper paste and carbohydrate food debris.

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Wasps fall into one of two categories; they are either social or solitary. Social Wasps, as the name suggests, live in sometimes huge colonies numbering in their thousands, which are often sited in homes or office buildings. Solitary Wasps are loners, they are not nest builders and so they rarely present a pest problem. More…

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White Shouldered House Moth

The White-Shouldered House Moth is usually about 8mm long and has mottled wings with a white head and ‘shoulders’ where the wings join the body. They are sometimes found in Sparrow, Starling or Pigeon nests and can be a major pest damaging textiles such as clothes and soft furnishings. More…

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Yellow Swarming Fly

The Yellow Swarming Fly is small at about 3mm in length and has very distinctive markings in yellow and black. They are similar to the Cluster Fly and likewise can become a type of pest when they swarm inside buildings. They often swarm in attics, where they hibernate, returning to the same spots year after year. More…