For an in-depth look at the 3 common pests that occupy the interior, exterior and interior/exterior areas of properties, read our identification guide below:

Interior

There are several pests that take up residence within our properties. The most common have been listed and detailed below:

Bed bugs

Bed bugs are one of the most disruptive pests in the home and neglecting to eliminate them can cause serious discomfort and hygiene issues. Bed bugs commonly infest beds, sofas, carpets and curtains. They're an incredibly small pest, which makes them hard to identify. However, they do leave notable trails behind, making identifying them easier. They leave smear marks and old skin shells in and around the places they inhabit.

Bed bugs can be removed effectively in proper pest control measures are employed. If you do discover a bed bug infestation, notify your landlord or estate agent immediately.

Cockroaches

Notoriously known as one of the worst pests to have. Cockroaches are tough to eliminate due to their hard shells and ability to withstand most harmful pest chemicals. Cockroaches can also survive on any food and can survive months without food.

They can be identified by their oval shape, their 3-inch-long bodies and their orange/brown colouring. Many species have wings, however some cannot fly. They can next anywhere in the house, but be sure to look behind cupboards, around skirting boards and in any cracks or gaps in the wall.

Mice

While they can be found outside, mice enjoy warmth and food, which usually leads them into houses. Mice are known for hiding in crevices, under floorboards and generally dark places, out of immediate sight. While they don’t cause us any immediate harm, they breed exceptionally quickly, and this can become a hygiene problem.

Mice can be identified by their small brown/grey bodies, with an average size of 3-8cm. While it’s rare to spot a mouse out in the open of your home, there are notable signs to look out for, such as their droppings. Mice droppings are usually grouped, and they commonly dig up carpet to use in their nests.

Exterior

Pests infiltrating the exterior of your property can cause just as much damage as those that reside within. Pests such as rats, birds and wasps can cause severe harm to the structure of your property and need to be dealt with swiftly.

Birds

Birds can become a nuisance if they’re not dealt with immediately. Once birds find a place to nest, it can become difficult to relocate them, especially if they’re pigeons. Birds cause disruptions by nesting in exterior structures such as gutters, piping and roofing.

Identifying birds is fairly simple, as they’re not exactly discrete. Aside from their squawking, the bigger issue is their droppings, particularly pigeon droppings, as they’re incredibly acidic and notoriously difficult to clean from certain surfaces. If the droppings are left to fester, they will permanently damage the surface, and this is especially harmful to cars and other expensive belongings.

Wasps

Wasps are, for the most part, helpful. However, no one likes wasps because they disrupt our summers and fly into our drinks, but this isn’t the biggest issue they cause. Wasps nests can become very dangerous if they’re left to develop and identifying them early is essential. Fortunately, they’re quite noticeable by their distinct structure and that buzzing sound. They’re usually spotted underneath gutters, cracks within exterior walls, sheds and other crevices high up. Additionally, it’s not uncommon to find them in trees, if the tree is big enough.

Either way wasp nests are very dangerous, and it’s strongly advised you contact your landlord, estate agent or pest control company to safely remove the nest.

Foxes

In most cases, foxes don’t disrupt people because they prefer to nest away from us. However, foxes occasionally raise their young in our gardens and they can become an issue for us. The biggest problem they cause is tearing apart our bins and disrupting our gardens and wildlife. Identifying them is simple enough but as they only really come out at night, its rare you will spot one in the day. You'll be able to tell if you have a fox if your bins are regularly opened and shredded. If your fox problem is becoming severe, ensure your bins are sealed shut and call a pest control professional if they continue to reside within your premises.

Interior and Exterior

There are some pests that dominate both the interior and exterior of properties.

Rats

Arguably the most common pest, rats are unsightly and can cause severe damage to your property if left untreated. Not only do they breed rapidly, they’re carriers of disease, meaning they present a serious health and safety issue.

Rats, in a similar vein to mice, prefer to keep a low profile, hiding in crevices, under floorboards and in gardens. They can, however, be identified by their droppings they leave behind. Rat droppings are not grouped like mice, as they defecate on the move. Be on the lookout for gnaw marks and chewed furniture as their teeth continue to grow and they will grind them down biting on things.

Ants

Ants are known to be pests that occupy both the interior and exterior of our properties. Ants on their own aren’t particularly harmful, but in numbers, they can cause hygiene issues, as well as structural damage.

Ants living outside of the property can nest in cracks in the wall, leading to structural damage and eventually, infiltration into the property. These nests are tough to remove and require trained professionals if the nest is too big for filler to cover it. once ants are inside, they’ll be looking for food, so ensure everything is sealed tight and call a pest control professional to assess the situation if it’s serious.

Woodlice

Again, not a particularly harmful pest on their own, but in numbers, they can cause structural damage. Woodlice love damp places, particularly woody areas. They aren’t known for residing in the interiors of properties, but if they are found inside, it’s usually a sign of damp within the property. They can also be found within exterior walls, which can lead them inside the property if nothing is done.

They can be identified by their small, grey oval shaped forms, being about 1cm long and they usually travel in large groups.

-

If you do notice any signs of pest within your property, it’s very important to contact your landlord or estate agent so they can contact the relevant pest professionals. Pest control is seriously important when it comes to home ownership, as they can causes thousands of pounds worth of damage if they are left neglected. Hopefully this identification guide will help you stay on the lookout for any notable pest signs, so you can keep your property safe from harm all year round.