COMMON WASP (Vespula vulgaris L)
Social insects with new nests constructed each year. Hibernating queens emerge around mid-April and search for a site for her new colony. By late summer nests may contain between 3,000 & 5,000 individuals. During the latter part of summer, males and young queens emerge. The cold winter weather kills off all the workers and males, with only fertilised queens surviving individually in hibernation, to start new colonies the following spring.
BROWN RAT (Rattus norvegicus)
Also known as: the Common rat, Norway rat, Sewer rat, or Brown rat. 20 & 25 cm in length. Thought to have originated from Asia and spread west through growing trade. First record from England is 1728. The success of these rodent species is their high reproductive potential. Between 4 â€“ 6 litters per year. Average size litters between 6 & 11. Known carriers of salmonellaÂ bacteria.Â Leptospirosis or Weilâ€™s disease found in 50% of sampled rat populations.
HOUSE MOUSE (Mus domesticus)
Believed to have arrived in Britain around the 10th century B.C. 6 & 9 cm in length. Although mainly a house dweller, it may live outdoors for part or all of the year. Between 5 &10 litters per year. Average litter size between 6 & 14. Known carriers of salmonella bacteria and a number of disease causing pathogens.
GREY SQUIRREL (Sciurus carolinensis)
The grey squirrel was deliberately introduced to Britain from North America on several occasions between 1876 and 1929. Since then it has spread throughout most of mainland England and Wales though is still absent from much of Scotland and offshore islands. No direct public health significance. May cause noise nuisance in loft spaces together with problems of damage to structures and wiring.
GLIS-GLIS (Edible Dormouse, Glis glis)
Also known as the squirrel-tailed or fat dormouse, the Glis glis is not native to Britain. Originates from Europe and has become naturalised in an area of about 100 sq. Miles in the Chilterns. (Herts, Beds and Bucks). Walter Rothschild introduced these small mammals into Tring Park in 1902. Historic evidence suggests that they were originally introduced by the Romans as a captive food source and eaten as a delicacy hence the name edible dormouse. Evidence of infestation tends to be noise at night from nocturnal habits. No public Health significance.
(The species are protected under the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and a special licence is required to trap and dispatch in accordance to the licence. It is an offence to trap and release Glis glis back into the wild.)
GARDEN/BLACK ANT (Lasius niger L)
Occurs with great frequency throughout the UK, and often close and in association with residential dwellings. Ants will nest in a whole variety of suitable places, and most of these are of no significance to man. The black ant is not known to transmit serious disease organisms, however, they are particularly attracted to sweet substances and one successful foraging ant is able to communicate the information to co-workers resulting in vast numbers of ants invading and contaminating foods.
FLEAS (Cat/Dog Flea) (Ctenocephalides felis/canis)
ALL adult fleas are external parasites of warm blooded animals and birds. The adult fleas are wingless and vary in colour from grey to dark reddish brown. The back legs are adapted for jumping considerable height and distance. Common signs of infestation include bites to legs and feet with associated irritation.
BED BUGS (Cimex lectularius)
Bed bugs are flat, oval insects, reddish brown in colour, 6mm in length and are nocturnal. They are associated with human habitation, hiding in furniture, and structural cracks and crevices, emerging at night when hungry to search for blood meals. Bed bugs are not regarded as disease carriers, but their blood feeding can cause severe irritation in some people.
GERMAN COCKROACH (Blattella germanica)
This species prefers warm moist environment often found behind, fridges, conduits, under sink units and washing machines. The female produces an egg case (Ootheca) that hatches into nymphs, closely resembling the much larger adults. The nymphs go through a number of moults as they grow to the full adult size. Known to carry pathogenic bacteria. (Numerous different species exist but those of prime public health significance are: German cockroach, Oriental Cockroach, American Cockroach, Brown-banded Cockroach & Australian Cockroach)
CLUSTER FLIES (Pollenia rudis)
This largish fly is 6mm long with a 10mm wingspan. It appears to favour south west and mainly south facing buildings. Huge numbers will enter roof spaces and voids via small gaps and crevices in September and generally onwards into November. They will hibernate until the spring, the warmth revives them and they start leaving buildings in numbers.