Five Of The UK’s Most Common Pests And How To Prevent And Control Them

Unfortunately, urban pests are becoming more and more of a problem in the family home. Wasted food and rushed cleaning efforts make a welcome environment for small and larger pests.

Read on to find out the top five pests in the UK and how you can manage them.


Mice have very flexible bones and can fit through a gap the same size as a pen lid!They cause huge amounts of damage by chewing through electricity wires and cables. They also carry bacteria which causes food poisoning.

Mice breed at an alarming rate and become sexually active after only ten weeks. Each pair of mice can produce eight litters a year. Each litter contains up to sixteen babies. This is a frightening statistic for any homeowner who thinks they might have a problem!

The best way to prevent mice from entering your home is to not give them any cause to come in. Clear up crumbs and keep food in plastic storage containers.

Bed bugs

Bed bugs are another common pest. Contrary to their name, they don’t have to live in your bed. They also reside in carpets, clothing and dark corners. Bed bugs feed on blood and are active between the hours of 10pm and 6am. They can also survive for up to three hundred days without food, so a bed bug infestation is almost impossible to get rid of, unless you call in experts.

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If you think you have an infestation, get hold of a professional team straight away. They will be able to quickly rid your home of these infuriating bugs.

Five Of The UK's Most Common Pests And How To Prevent And Control Them

Clothes moths

Unlike the moths you normally see, the clothes moth is only 5mm in length and hops around rather than flying. Although they don’t carry any diseases, clothes moths destroy fabrics, furs, animal skins and leather book bindings.

The recent upsurge of investing in vintage clothing has seen an increase in clothes moths around the UK.

You can prevent moth attacks by regularly vacuuming in your home, including the insides of cupboards and drawers that contain clothes. If there are any moth eggs, vacuuming should hopefully get rid of them.

If you are still having problems, you should contact a pest control company. There are several different species of clothes moths and experts will be able to identify and eliminate the pest in your home.


Ants can be a pain in the kitchen, where they will come in looking for sweet foods to take back to the nest. Although they pose no direct harm, they are still unsanitary. Ants may well have walked over all kinds of things before they reach your kitchen.

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Ridding your home of ants can be fairly straightforward if you nip the problem in the bud. Find the route they are taking through your home and lay an insecticide down. This will hopefully get taken back to the nest and the ants will be eradicated.

An established colony is, however, much harder to destroy and an expert team will need to be called out.

Pharaoh’s ants are becoming popular in flats that are centrally heated. They are smaller than regular garden ants and their nests are normally located in impossible to reach places. In this situation, you will need to call out a professional.


This highly adapted species lives in warm homes, hiding in cracks and crevices. They eat anything, including food, paper and animal droppings. Cockroaches are a dangerous pest as they carry diseases including salmonella and gastro-enteritis.

You can tell if you have an infestation by a nasty smell and the appearance of smears on horizontal surfaces. Cockroaches also shed their skin, so you may see delicate casings too.

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Cockroaches secrete a pheromone that tells other cockroaches that they have found a safe place to hide. Prevent them from doing this by getting rid of clutter and throwing old clothes and paperwork away.

These pests spread quickly between homes, so can be very difficult to get rid of. Call in the professionals who will be able to identify the species and choose the best method of elimination.

Unwanted visitors in your home can cause a huge amount of distress and panic. Prevention is always better than cure. Keep a tight household chore rota in action in your home and always clear away food when you have finished eating. That includes pet food too!

If you are unfortunate enough to have a pest infestation, the best solution is to call out a professional. They can quickly and confidently identify the particular breed and will know the best way of fixing the problem.

Barry Walker is the Director of TDC Pest Control based in Southend, Essex. Barry has extensive knowledge of the pest control industry and likes to offer any advice that may help households across the UK avoid pest problems in the future.