Approximately one in three people will develop a pest problem in their homes, and London in particular is a hotbed for certain kinds of pests. It’s important to know which kinds of pests you’re more likely to encounter so that you can spot the signs of an infestation, or better yet, protect yourself from one. We deal with a wide range of pests, but we receive certain enquiries more than others. Based on this, here are the most common household pests in London.
To some people, mice are small, cute and defenceless creatures (thanks, Disney!), but don’t be fooled. If they enter your home, they can be a real problem. Mice chew through cables and wood, and if they are left untreated for too long they cause a whole host of very expensive problems. You may need to hire electricians to fix or replace wiring that’s been gnawed through, or you may need to buy new cabinets and fix skirting boards that have been used as hiding spots and passageways by mice. Being smaller than rats means they can get into even tighter spaces, so their problems may go unnoticed for a while. Mice are common household pests in cities and it’s likely that everybody will come across one at some point.
One of the most common calls we receive is from people complaining of a moth infestation, and it’s easy to see why. Moths are very easy to pick up on clothing and extremely difficult to see. Moths love the darkness and the warmth of our carpets and wardrobes, which provide arguably the most hospitable conditions for moths anywhere in the world. They’re generally safe from predators and clothing materials are the perfect place to lay their eggs. The larvae that hatch will then feed on your clothing and carpets, thus keeping them safe and fed until they’re developed enough to venture out on their own. In most cases, you’ll only notice that you have a moth infestation when it’s too late and your carpets and clothing are full of holes! (You can read more about the signs of a moth infestation here).
As we mentioned in our blog post on the signs you have a bed bug infestation, bed bugs are very easy to pick up but very difficult to remove once they’re in your home. Bed bugs often travel from person to person via their clothing which makes them very easy to spread (since we all wear clothes). Coming into brief contact with colleagues or even a stranger who has bed bugs on their clothes can be enough to spread bed bugs to your clothing, and then when you arrive home, the bed bugs have a field day exploring your home (and bed). Bed bugs feed on blood, making you essentially a lifetime’s supply of food for them. Their bites can be very irritating, so you’ll want to call a pest control specialist promptly if you suspect you have a bed bug problem.
Think of them as the big, bad brothers of mice. When people think of pests, they often think of rats, and in London especially, rats are incredibly common. While they still may skulk around in corners and behind furniture like mice, it’s slightly less likely due to them being significantly larger. They’ll likely be more of a problem in the immediate vicinity of your house, especially if you have a garden. Rats pose more of a health threat, carrying many diseases including salmonella and tuberculosis. Heavy rain often causes flooding to underground burrows and areas where rats tend to nest, forcing them to relocate to drier conditions: our houses are an ideal place. In a city that has as much rain as London, rats are constantly being displaced which is a possible explanation of them being a common problem for Londoners.
The definitive “creepy-crawly”, cockroaches are most homeowners’ worst nightmare. Telltale signs of a cockroach infestation include sightings of their droppings, their eggs or their shed skin. They also smell very bad, and if your cockroach problem is bad enough, you may even hear some scuttling at night. While modern pest control techniques, allow us to take care of cockroaches effectively, they are notorious for moving from property to property, making them a real issue for apartment buildings. And it’s no surprise – here they can find all the food and shelter they want; once one property has been visited by pest controllers, those that escape can simply move onto the next house and repopulate. Cockroaches can cause asthma in young children and carry several diseases, so it’s imperative that you call a pest control specialist if you suspect you may have cockroaches.
While wasps have an unfairly bad reputation, they are a big problem in London, especially during the warmer months. Wasps are likely to build their nest in lofts and in the eaves of buildings, and you may not notice that you have a wasp problem until the nest is fully built. They cause the biggest threat to children, who are more sensitive to stings and may antagonise them without knowing the potential danger they are in. If you do see a wasps nest in your home or nearby, call a pest controller immediately – do not try to remove the nest yourself because you could end up getting injured.
Fleas are a common problem, especially for pet owners. Your four-legged friend may bring joy to your life, but there’s a good chance they’re also bringing fleas into your home. Hotspots for fleas include their bedding and surrounding carpet or rugs which are a prime location for fleas to lay their eggs. While fleas with generally prefer to live on furry animals, they may bite humans as part of their feeding, and these bites can cause itchiness and irritation. Spotting fleas is incredibly difficult, if not impossible due to their size, but noticing changes in your cat or dog’s behaviour could be a sign that they have fleas.
Here at Inoculand, we take care of any pest you could expect to come across in London and the surrounding counties. Explore our Pest Gallery for information on our pest control methods and tips on protecting yourself from unwanted intruders. If you’ve spotted any of the above pests in or around your home, then get in touch with us today!