Other Pests

Carpet Beetles

Description: Adults are 2 - 4 mm long and variable black or brown with mottled yellow or white markings. A pest primarily in the home, food and museum sectors (the latter causing a significant threat to collections).

Biology: Mating occurs immediately after emergence. The female produces up to 100 eggs over a period of two weeks. Larval development lasts for 10-30 days. Larval forms (known as the "Woolly Bear") can reach 4 - 5 mm in size before pupation and can cause considerable damage to products such as wool, fur, leather, silk and animal skins, and occasionally cereal based food products. Adult carpet beetles usually live outdoors on pollen and nectar, and thrive in situations where they remain undisturbed, such as under carpets, bird and rodent nests and animal remains.

Control: Before treatment can begin, the first step is to trace the source of infestation such as old birds' nests in lofts or rodent nests under floorboards. Where appropriate, treat and remove old nests in lofts and under floorboards with an insecticide dust. Lift and treat underside of carpets, around skirting boards, window frames, pipes from roof spaces and disused fireplaces, and other areas likely to be contacted by invading adult insects with a residual insecticide.

Moles

Description: Moles are a common British mammal living almost exclusively underground, although they are capable of moving above ground and even swimming. As well as a means of transportation, the main purpose of the tunnel network is a trap for worms and other invertebrates to fall into. The mole rarely exceeds 20cm in length (including short tail) and has a very smooth dark fur which can flex in both directions. With very poor eye-sight, the mole navigates and finds food largely by picking up vibrations.

Biology: Moles are typically solitary, and both sexes defend their territories vigorously, often coming together just to mate. Moles will often have just one litter per year, consisting of up to 7 young. The young are suckled for about a month and leave the nest after about 5 weeks.

Control: Where professionally trained, the gassing compound, Aluminium Phosphide can be used. Much mole work is done using a variety of traps from barrel and scissor traps to the new and highly effective talpex style.

Cockroaches

Description: Adult German cockroaches are about 17mm long and light brown except for the shield behind the head marked with two dark stripes, which run lengthwise on the body. The nymphs are wingless and nearly black with a single light stripe running down the middle of the back. Egg capsules are light tan.

Biology: Egg cases are carried by the female until just before hatching and each female may produce four to six cases during her lifetime, each containing 30 to 40 eggs. Eggs hatch in 28 to 30 days, and nymphs develop in 40 to 125 days. Female cockroaches live about 200 days (slightly longer than the male). The German cockroach produces more eggs and has more generations per year (three to four) than any other cockroach, and only a few individuals are needed to develop into troublesome infestations.

Control: An integrated approach involving the use of cockroach traps, insecticidal gels and well targeted use of residual insecticides where appropriate is recommended. Night time inspections may be necessary in difficult to control infestation situations.