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Pests comprise a number of living creatures, some are not strictly pests - more phobias.
  • Fungal growth, mushrooms - live in excessively damp and wet areas including under leaking baths and showers and where damp proof membranes are broken or bridged.
  • Mould,  spores live on damp surfaces due to lack of ventilation and heating.
  • Wet rot, wood eaters (xylophage) paradise often started by utility leaks (under sinks, baths, toilets undetected and thus untreated until too late).
  • Dry rot. wood eaters paradise
  • Rodents - mice, rats, squirrels, etc. attracted by food left in overflowing bins, and doorstep milk to feed cats and other pets e.g. hedgehogs.  Compost heaps can attract rodents too.  Avoid leaving invitations to rodents.  Rodent diseases can be serious.
  • Mites -bird mites live on bird hosts until the bird dies when the mites transfer to anything living nearby.  A bird nest near an open window with a warm occupant might expect to see tiny red bite dots on their skin - cure: find and destroy the dead bird.
  • Bed bugs - Washing both bodies and bedding help reduce the risk.
  • Maggots, flies lay eggs in mattresses, open bins etc.  Keep bins closed so as not to invite them.
  • Flies - fruit flies, house flies, etc
  • Sea gulls and some other birds - may attack people if protecting their young.  Droppings can be a problem too.  Avoid leaving food leftovers exposed outside especially in open bins and even closed plastic bags containing food.  Birds can spread such food waste leading to other pests like rodents to gobble up what they leave behind.  The cure is not to invite them in the first instance.
  • Wasps can sting unprompted.  They are nevertheless an essential part of the pollination process.  Nests are usually short lived and can be destroyed to deter return after they have died or left the nest.  Avoidance is better than elimination if possible.  Often found in warm isolated lofts and outbuildings they seldom do harm.
  • Bees should be encouraged as they are unlikely to sting and are essential to the pollination and the environment.
  • Slugs like damp conditions and can often occupy insides of properties especially older buildings.  A continuous thick line of salt in doorways and other entry points can break the slug's entry -they dehydrate when attempting to cross the line.  Eggshells are said to perform an effective barrier but eggshells may instead attract rodents - a more difficult and dangerous pest.

See also

  • Spiders - not pests merely feared - arachnophobia.  They help reduce numbers of flies and should be encouraged.
  • Moths -  not strictly pests but can eat food left on soft clothing together with clothes.  Endangered and should be discouraged rather than killed.  Turn off attractive lights in rooms when not occupied and close windows where practicable but do allow adequate ventilation to avoid mould.
  • Ventilation
  • Timber treatment
Published: 27 November 2021 Last Updated: 28 November 2021