Advice and information on Wasps, Mosquitoes and Flies
Wasps are general nuisances, especially in summer when they are attracted to sweet foodstuffs and can in some cases cause severe allergic reactions. When a nest crops up nearby, they can be dangerous as they can react aggressively if their nest is threatened and become a persistent pest.
Large conspicuous buzzing insects with yellow and black striped waists measuring about 10-15mm. The queen wasp is larger than normal wasps at about 20mm.
SIGNS OF INFESTATION
Wasp nests can be located by watching the pathway of returning wasps. These are usually located in sheltered spots with easy access to the outside such as in roof spaces, under eaves, bird boxes or sheds. A wasp nest is made from chewed pulp and saliva which gives them their distinctively papery look. These start off the size of a golf ball early on in the year, but can rapidly increase in size as the number of wasps increase.
Changes to how you handle food and drink outdoors can minimise the chances of wasp infestations. Keeping bins at a distance from your home and securing these bins should discourage the wasps from settling near your home.
If you locate a nest, it is advised that you seek professional pest control services. However, for immediate relief, there are several first instance products available.
- Insecticide powders: Where a nest is not visible, insecticide powders are a useful treatment. Here powders can be applied to the areas where they gain entry into the house.
- Sprays: Multi-purpose are useful to have at hand to target the insects directly.
Mosquitoes are notorious for their bites, which can affect everyone differently, but commonly cause itching and discomfort. Their bites can occur readily but often significantly at dusk.
Often confused in house with the harmless and unrelated crane fly. True mosquitoes are very much smaller but have a similar long thin abdomen, long thin legs and strongly veined wings.
There are two main types, the Culicine mosquitoes sit with their bodies parallel to the ground and Anopheline mosquitoes which sit “nose down” to the surface, and most have dark spots on their wings.
Depending on the country, mosquitoes can cause numerous problems through their bite. In the tropics, they can transmit yellow fever, filariasis, dengue fever and malaria. These can all be major considerations for travellers. Even in England, they can cause significant itchy red bites which cause swelling that can last for days.
Mosquito eggs are laid in batches in stagnant water and the small brown larvae hang from the surface of the water, turning into comma-shaped aquatic pupae in four to ten days. Within a day or two the adult emerges with a thirst for human or animal blood. Only the females feed and require a blood meal before they can lay eggs.
SIGNS OF INFESTATION
Mosquitoes are particularly prevalent where standing and stagnant water accumulates, including estuaries, marshes, lakes, ponds and the edges of river banks. Adult female mosquitoes hibernate in dark corners of houses, sheds cellars and other sheltered sites.
Breeding sites such as guttering, water butts and bird baths should be cleaned out regularly.
If all the breeding sites have been contained in the best way, then the prevention focus on reducing the chance with human contact. If there is a major problem as a result of local breeding sites then it is best to get in touch with a local pest controller.
Flyscreens and flynets can be used to reduce the opportunity for human contact, to get into the house firstly, and then to bite during the night if they get into the bedroom.
Mosquito repellents can be a good solution if applied to the skin. There are many types and the ingredients can be important to ensure that people are not adverse to them.
Flies are a major occurrence within households up and down the country. Apart from the biting flies, all species feed by vomiting food onto the surface, and sucking up the resulting liquid. In doing so, the fly contaminates the food with bacteria from its gut and its feet. This result can have a major impact on people, causing food poisoning and dysentery for most in the western world. This food transference may also result in the transmission of eggs from parasitic worms.
Flies are so numerous that they are typically the most common flying insects within homes and readily identifiable with their black bodies and short wings.
Flies are extremely common due to their presence around left over food and rubbish both inside and outside the home.
SIGNS OF INFESTATION
Flies gravitate to any area where food waste has been left, particularly if it has been decomposing over a number of days.
High levels of cleanliness and excellent food hygiene are essential to stopping the conditions in which flies like to operate. To stop their build up inside the house, prompt removal of refuse is essential along with other preventative measures including covering food and using tight fitting containers.
If there is a major infestation, then it is advisable to contact a specialist pest controller, but in the first instance there is an array of available preventative measures.
- To ensure that flies are not able to become a problem in the first instance it is essential to cover food and not leave it lying around at any time, using tight fitting containers.
- Fly screens can also be a good option to stop them coming inside when this is not always possible.
- Sticky flypapers: These can be placed in conspicuous areas to stop the movement of flies towards open food.
- Flykiller traps: Ultra-violet electric flykillers can also be placed in open areas to distract flies from open food.
If flies are visibly becoming a problem, then they can be tackled in a number of ways
- Insecticide sprays: These can be used to cover significant areas, particularly outside and in warm weather to stop the build up around waste and refuse collection areas.
- Flykiller aerosols: Used to speed up the removal process, particularly internally, these can remove their interest after food has been left open and kill them quickly.