With autumn upon us, it’s that time of year when pests start making their way out of the cold and into our nice, warm homes.
Which unwanted visitors are we likely to see lurking around our homes as we transition into winter and what are the signs you should be looking out for? Below we cover everything you need to know about autumn pests.
Autumn pests in the UK
Common pests in UK homes at this time of year include:
The feeding habits of wasps mean they’re more likely to come into contact with people at this time of year. A diet of ripening fruit can also make them drunk and more aggressive than normal.
Signs of wasps include:
• If you have a wasp infestation, you’re likely to see them flying around your home or in the garden in larger numbers than usual
• Certain species of wasps build their nests by chewing wood. You may notice holes or tunnels in wooden surfaces on the exterior of your home
• You see a wasp nest. Always call a pest controller if you spot a wasp nest and don’t try to remove it yourself
With many people returning from their summer holidays, bed bugs brought back in suitcases can be a common problem at this time of year.
Common signs of bed bugs include:
• If you look closely, you may be able to see them. An adult is 4-5mm in length, reddish-brown in colour, has a flattened, oval body and does not have wings
• You have bites on your body. These are typically found in a pattern of rows or as a cluster. A small, hard, swollen, white welt may develop at the site of each bite and they may be very itchy
• There are small dark stains on your bed sheets
• You notice a sweet/sickly scent that you can’t explain
While spider numbers peak in the summer, as the weather gets colder they move into buildings for light and warmth. This means that despite the fact that there are actually fewer of them, we’re more likely to notice them in the autumn.
Signs of a spider infestation:
• Spider webs around the home
• You see them – as well as webs, spiders can often be found in burrows and crevices
• Some species are attracted to moist environments so check around pipes, sinks, baths, showers, basements, walls, sheds and other damp locations
Depending on the temperature, cluster flies tend to appear in homes and buildings from late September onwards. Because they come inside to hibernate, it can be hard to spot that they’re there. They’re often found under felt in attics and around heating and ventilation pipes.
Flea populations peak in autumn and people returning home from holidays can also cause an increase in numbers.
Signs of a flea infestation include:
• You may be able to see them on curtains, carpets and furniture
• Your pet is scratching a lot or you can see them in their fur
• You’re getting bitten. Flea bites are usually located on the lower legs and feet and are characterised by red spots surrounded by red halos. You may experience hives, a rash or swelling around the bite
Just like with other pests, rodent numbers aren’t particularly higher during autumn. They’re simply seeking shelter from the cooler and often wetter weather. As food supplies become increasingly scarce outside, the likes of rats and mice are more likely to make their way into homes and buildings.
Signs of a rodent infestation include:
• Unusual odours (similar to urine or a damp, musky smell)
• Holes in materials that weren’t there before
• Scratching noises, especially at night
• Gnaw marks on furniture or tracks on the floor
• If your pet is putting its nose inside crevices for longer and more often than usual or they’re suddenly constantly on the hunt for something, it could be because you have rodents in the house
If you think you have a pest problem, please get in touch with Prokill and we can book you in for a free, no obligation pest control audit.