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Crawling insects- Spiders, Woodworm, Carpet Beetles, Cockroaches

Advice and information on Spiders, Woodworm, Carpet Beetles and Cockroaches

Spiders

Spiders can be an unpleasant nuisance especially where there are multiple spiders.

ACTION

  • Physical removal of the spider and the destruction of their web can help control multiple spiders.
  • If this is not effective, insecticidal sprays can be used to remove the insects that spiders prey on as well as the spiders themselves.

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Woodworm

Woodworms are the larvae of the Common Furniture Beetle and can be very destructive as they can attack not only floorboards and joinery but structural timbers like joists and rafter.

APPEARANCE

The adult Furniture Beetle is a small flying brown insect around 3-6mm long.

CAUSES

The adult Furniture Beetle lays eggs on rough, unpolished wood and these grubs bore straight into the wood and can emerge as beetles three years later. These Furniture beetles may be introduced into the house by infested second hand furniture, but the beetles can also fly in through windows.

SIGNS OF INFESTATION

Small neat round holes, about 2mm across, in wooden surfaces with piles of wood dust under them. These flight holes are made by emerging adult beetles.

PREVENTION

A insecticidal polish can be used to discourage any activity

ACTION

A proprietary woodworm killer fluid can be used.

  • Coat all surfaces, polished and unpolished and inject fluid into a few flight holes with a special injector.
  • With structural timbers, the wood will have to be cleaned and dried first.
  • Roof insulation will have to be removed so that the joists can be treated and to avoid the fire-risk of contaminating the insulation with the fluid.
  • It can be useful to have specialist wood preservation companies treat the wood as many provide long term guarantees, which can be useful as evidence if you would want to sell the house.

Carpet Beetles

Also known as “woolly bears”, these small oval beetles are themselves not destructive and feed on pollen and nectar, but their larvae are and have become a major textile pest.

APPEARANCE

The Variegated Carpet Beetle is about 2-4mm long, and look like small mottled brown, grey and cream ladybirds. The larvae are small, around 4mm long, covered in brown hairs and they tend to roll up when disturbed.  

CAUSES

The Carpet Beetle lays its eggs in old bird nests, felt, fabric or accumulated fluff in buildings.

SIGNS OF INFESTATION

The larvae moult, so old cast-off skins may be a sign of infestation.  Carpet Beetle damage can be seen along the seams of fabric where there may be well-defined round holes.

PREVENTION

- Remove any old birds’ nests or areas where there may be feathers.

- Vacuum clean all fluff and debris from airing cupboards, shelves, floorboards, carpets and upholstery.

- Lay traps to break the breeding cycles of Carpet Beetles.

ACTION

An insecticide is needed to deal with "woolly bears" and affected items should be sprayed or dusted with a product labelled for Carpet Beetle control. Treat between floorboards, under carpets, under felts and in crevices where fluff may collect and attract the insects.

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Cockroaches

As well as generally being a disturbing sight, Cockroaches can contaminate food, utensils and surfaces leaving an unpleasant smell and in some cases, spread bacteria and organisms which can cause food poisoning. In Britain, there are two main species, the German and Oriental cockroaches.

APPEARANCE

Cockroaches have long antennae, oval bodies and a rapid, jerky walk.

CAUSES

Cockroaches seek food, water and shelter so often messy, unhygienic surfaces can encourage an infestation.

SIGNS OF INFESTATION

Oriental cockroaches deposit 13mm long egg capsules 12 weeks before they hatch. They may be found on packaging, sacking or in dark crevices

PREVENTION

> Proofing and repair

Cockroaches can rarely survive outdoors in Britain and tend to live around heating ducts and boiler rooms. They also cannot survive more than a few days without water and so live around pipes and sinks.

  • Seal gaps around doors, windows and where utility lines enter to prevent entry. If there are any leaks around the sink, repair these.

> Clean

  • Cockroaches feed on almost anything, therefore any areas with food residues need to be thoroughly cleaned.
  • In particular, items in the sink, bins, and areas around on top and beneath the fridge which are warm.
  • Follow up with an insecticidal treatment and sticky traps to monitor infestations.

ACTION

If you spot nymphs and eggs in cracks and crevices, apply an insecticide immediately.

 

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