Pest Types

Bed Bug

Bed Bug

Size: About 6mm long
Shape: Wingless, oval, flattened unless recently fed.
Colour: Red-brown changing to dark mahogany colour if recently fed.
Biology: Egg – nymph – adult. Up to 200 or more white, capped eggs laid at a rate of 4-5 a day glued to crevices and harbourages. The nymphs have 5 moults taking from a few weeks to several months depending on conditions and food supply.
Preferred Foods: Mammalian blood (principally human), emerging at night to search for prey. Feeding usually takes about 10 minutes. They can ingest up to 7 times their body weight in blood at any one meal but can go for prolonged periods of up to a year without feeding.
Habitat: Hide by day in crevices in beds, furniture, wallpaper, skirting boards and emerge when hungry. May be carried on luggage.
Bluebottle or Blowfly

Bluebottle or Blowfly

Size: 11mm long. Wingspan 25mm.
Shape: Bristly body.  Very large compound eyes.
Colour: Dull metallic blue body with stiff bluish transparent wings.
Biology: Adult flies mate and egg laying commences 4 days later. Eggs laid in clusters in fresh or older meat, meat products and offal.  Game singled out. Larvae moult 3 times and wander off to pupate anything up to 100 metres. Larvae grow to 18mm and the pupae is approximately 10mm and a dull mahogany brown.  The fly emerges 2 weeks later.
Preferred Foods: Any meat product especially game and bacon products.
Habitat: Meat processing plants, commercial canteens and any food processing factory.
Brown House Moth

Brown House Moth

Size: 8mm.
Shape: Fringe of hairs on wing tips when  at rest.
Colour: Uniformly shiny gold flecked with dark brown
Biology: Single eggs laid  singly. Larvae  hatch 10 to 40 days depending on temperature.  Larvae feed and moult for 2 to 5 months. Pupae formed and hatches in 2 to 8 weeks.
Preferred Foods: Dry vegetable matter, cereal products.
Habitat: Sometimes encountered in warehousing, flour and provender mills, cereal processing.
Brown Rat

Brown Rat

Size: Up to 25cm/10inch
Shape: They have a sturdy body, with small eyes and ears. The snout is either slanted or blunt.
Colour: Brown or grey
Biology: Rats usually produce between 4-7 litters per year with an average litter size of 7-8.
Preferred Foods: Rats need to drink water whereas mice can survive on the water content of stored grain (approx 12-14%) without ever having to drink. A rat will take all its food (approx 30gm/day) from just one or two locations and will feed once or twice a night. Very important in relation to bait treatments and cleanliness.
Habitat: Places where they can live – Rats are highly adaptable and we have found nests in places as varied as oven linings and industrial freezers. Rats will burrow 1-2m into the ground and live in compost heaps, deep litter and of course sewers.
Other Info: Rats have brought us the plague, Weil’s disease, and have been responsible for outbreaks of food poisoning. They dribble urine upon everything on which they walk and so contaminate bulk food stocks and food preparation surfaces wherever they go. They must gnaw hard surfaces to keep their constantly growing incisor teeth short. They damage electricity cables, lead pipes, wood, plastic and wet cement.
Cluster Fly

Cluster Fly

Size: 6mm long. Wingspan 10mm
Shape: A largish fly with a distinctive bristly yellowish black marked abdomen.
Colour: The thorax is covered with yellow-gold hairs. Large reddish compound eyes.
Biology: Eggs laid loosely on damp soil and in leaf litter. Larvae hatch after a week and seek out earthworms. They bore through the wall of the victim’s body. After it has grown to full size it bores its way out of the worm and pupates in the soil. Depending on the weather 2 generations are normal but up to 4 are possible. Flies hatch from the pupae and live outdoors. They start to enter buildings in large numbers in late September onwards into November when the temperature starts to fall.
Preferred Foods: As above, the earthworm is the food source of the larvae. The adult fly feeds on nectar from flowers.  They only enter buildings in order to hibernate.
Habitat: South west and mainly south facing buildings are favoured. The flies will invade cladded buildings silos. Will enter roof spaces and voids via small gaps and crevices in the fabric.  They will cluster on the exterior of buildings in huge numbers prior to crawling into the harbourages.  In the spring the warmth revives them and they start to leave buildings in numbers.
Common House Fly

Common House Fly

Size: 6mm long. Wingspan of 10mm
Shape: Distance between eyes wide in female and narrow in male. Vein bends sharply before reaching edge of wing. At rest wings are spread.
Colour: Grey/black chequered abdomen which is slightly hairy. Blackish stripes on thorax.
Biology: Up to 150 eggs laid in batches at a time but up to 5 batches in their lifetime. Larvae (maggots) hatch in 8 to 48 hours depending on temperature.  The larvae have three moults and reach 12mm in length. Larval skin cast turning into a puparium. The adult fly hatches 3 to 4 weeks later.
Preferred Foods: In any high protein material from animal waste to refuse and food material especially if fermenting or rotting, moist material is favoured.
Habitat: Throughout the UK.  Enters food premises through all openings and exploits bad hygiene practices, compactors and refuse storage areas and returns sections ideal.
Common Wasp, German Wasp

Common Wasp, German Wasp

Size: 10  to 20mm.
Shape: Narrow waist. 2 pairs of membranous wings.
Colour: Distinctive banding in bright yellow and black.
Biology: Queen emerges from hibernation in mid-April. Constructs 10 to 20 chambers and lays eggs in each one.  Sterile female workers hatch and by late summer the colony reaches 3,000 to 5,000 individuals. Males and young queens are produced in late summer and they mate with the  young queens flying off to find an over winter hibernation site.
Preferred Foods: Any sweet sticky high sugar foodstuff, jam, fruit juices and meat, carrion including dustbin waste material.
Habitat: Common throughout UK. Favours bakeries, fruit processors, jam factories, drinks factories and confectioners. Skips and waste containers plus return trays and empty raw materials containers draw them to a premises. Wasps of course can become a nuisance, particularly in late summer when they increasingly feed on fruit and other sweet materials. They show most aggression when disturbed around the nest site. Nests inside buildings and garden sheds or close to well used entrances and walk-ways may become especially troublesome. Eventually these nests may have to be destroyed because of the nuisance and risk they cause to people living or passing nearby. When wasps, particularly the larger species of hornets, are busy gathering woody material for nest-building, they sometimes chew and damage the timbers of fences and buildings and strip the bark of trees causing die-back of branches and young shoots. They can be discouraged from chewing the wood of fences and buildings by a fresh coat of paint or wood preservative, but damage to trees is more difficult to prevent and, again, often the only solution is to locate and destroy the nest.
Other Info: However, unless you are experienced in dealing with wasps, never attempt to destroy a colony yourself. If you find a nest keep well away, there can be several thousand workers in a fully-formed colony and ALL OF THEM CAN STING! It is far more sensible and safer to call in thompson pest control.


Size: 1/8 inch (3mm) long.
Shape: Adult fleas are about 1/8 inch long, wingless, and have three pairs of legs. The hind pair of legs is modified for jumping. Fleas are vertically flat like a fish, and can move easily through the hair of a host. The immature stage or larval stage of the flea looks like a small white worm with a dark head. Flea eggs are small and white.
Colour: Very dark in colour.
Biology: Female fleas lay eggs loosely in the host's hair (usually a cat or dog). The eggs drop off and hatch into tiny, hairy, worm-like larvae. The larvae are usually found where the animal sleeps, along baseboards, in carpets, or on furniture. Larvae pupate and new adults emerge. The new adults seek a host immediately and must get a blood meal to survive and produce eggs.
Preferred Foods: Fleas will bite humans-especially when they cannot find their usual animal host or if they become very numerous. Their bite often will leave a small, red, irritated area on humans.
Habitat: The cooler and drier fall weather brings a reduction in the number of household fleas. However, house pets usually maintain small flea populations throughout the winter, with the numbers increasing slowly in the spring and exploding in mid-to-late summer.
Fruit Flies

Fruit Flies

Size: 2mm long. 3 to 4mm wingspan.
Shape: Fat bulbous body. Simple wing venation. Feathery antennae. Cross striped abdomen.
Colour: Greyish yellow body with large often orange eyes.
Biology: 700 to 800 eggs laid at 20 to 25 per day in the foodstuff for the hatching larvae. Larvae have 3 moults and they migrate to pupate. The egg to adult stage can be a short as 8 days at 30oc.
Preferred Foods: Varies but is usually sour mil, rotting and fermenting fruit e.g. grapes and bananas, fruit juices, tomatoes and dried fruits.
Habitat: Vinegar factories, breweries, dried fruit washing plants, tomato processors, fruit drink producers and warehouses where spillage has occurred.
Garden Ant, Common Black Ant

Garden Ant, Common Black Ant

Size: 2 to 3mm.
Shape: Elbowed antennae. Large head, slender thorax, characteristic waste, long legs.
Colour: Shiny black.
Biology: The queen ant lays a variable number of eggs. 3 to 4 weeks later legless grubs hatch. 3 weeks later larvae mature. 2 weeks after pupation adult ants emerge. Late summer winged and matures males leave nest and mate and the males die whilst the females find new nest sites. Many thousands of ants live in a nest in a social hierarchy tending to various functions.
Preferred Foods: Sweet spillage’s, although outside of human habitations they have a wide food range including much organic matter.
Habitat: A wide range of locations. Ant colonies can sometime be in close proximity to human dwellings. Entering buildings to forage for food. Sometimes nests can be found well inside factories with the ants exploiting proofing defects such as cracks in the building fabric.
German Cockroach

German Cockroach

Size: 12 to 15mm.
Shape: Long antennae. Winged and can fly but does not readily. Wings full length in male but 2/3 length in female.
Colour: Mid brown, with a yellow brown thorax  having two dark brown stripes.
Biology: Oethecae produced 4 to 8 per female each containing 36. Incubation  approx. 17 days at 30oc. Nymphal stages  6 to 7 to adult. Life span 128 days male and 153 female.
Preferred Foods: Omnivorous including any organic matter including human waste.
Habitat: Warm moist environments, inside tray wash plant, inside switch boxes and panels inside machines conduits etc.  Can  swim and will climb smooth surfaces easily.
Grey Squirrel

Grey Squirrel

Size: Head and body length is 25 to 26.5cm plus 22cm of tail.
Shape: Weight approx 500gm. Both sexes similar size.
Colour: Winter coat is grey above with a white underside. Summer coat is shorter, sleeker and brownish grey above.
Biology: Gestation 45 days. Litter size 1 to 7 (average 3). Litters per year 2. Weaning period 10 weeks. Maturity 10-12 months. The life span of the female is between 4-6 years. The life span of the male is between 2-3 years.
Preferred Foods: Nuts, fruit buds and shoots to fungi, birds’ eggs and nestlings. In gardens their diet comes from food put out for birds. Surplus food is often buried for retrieval at a later date.
Habitat: Mainly resident in broad-leaved and mixed broad-leaved/conifer woodland but also in copses and hedgerows. Commonly resident in urban areas where it lives in parks and gardens wherever there are trees.
Other Info: Grey Squirrels must not be confused with the Red Squirrel which is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
House Mouse

House Mouse

Size: 2 inches
Shape: The tail is longer than the body with large ears and eyes and a pointed snout.
Colour: Reddish/brown
Biology: House mice breed throughout the year and can become pregnant within 48 hours of producing a litter. There are usually about 6 mice to a litter and females may produce as many as ten litters (about 50 young) per year. It takes 18 to 21 days for gestation, and 35 days for a mouse to mature. Most mice live anywhere from 15 to 18 months.
Preferred Foods: Mice normally feed 15 to 20 times per day and will eat pretty much anything a human will eat. Food preference is cereal or seed, but they also gnaw through insulation or wires, sheet rock, storage boxes, etc. Mice are nibblers. They do small amounts of damage to many food items in "home range", rather than doing extensive damage to any one item. While mice are nibblers and feed many times in many places, they have two main feeding periods, at dusk and just before dawn. They have to consume about 10% to 15% of their body weight every 24 hours and require extremely small amounts of water.
Habitat: They make their nests out of the same types of soft materials as rats, and as many as 3 females may use the same nest. They commonly nest in insulation in attics, also in stoves and under refrigerators. Mice do not travel far from their nest, about 12 to 20 feet.
Other Info: Good sanitation is essential for effective long term control. Mice can enter any opening larger than 1/4 inch, making it virtually impossible to completely mouse proof a building. The control of mice can be widely varied, depending on the individual situation. It may range from physically altering the conditions allowing the infestation, such as covering holes, filling cracks, etc. to baiting or trapping.
Lesser House Fly

Lesser House Fly

Size: 6mm long with a 12mm wingspan.
Shape: At rest wings are folded along back. Venation shows fourth vein extending straight to wing margin.
Colour: Grey thorax with 4 longitudinal dark stripes. Extensive yellow patch at the base of abdomen.
Biology: Eggs laid when female is 10 days old. 1mm in length they hatch in 24 to 38 hours. Able to float in a semi-liquid medium. Larval development 8 days and 3 skin moults. Larvae 6mm when full grown. Egg to adult normally 3 weeks. Breed mainly in poultry manure.
Preferred Foods: All organic matter especially if decomposing or fermenting.
Habitat: Exploit proofing defects and will enter any building.  Rest much more than the Common Housefly and often can be seen flying erratically around light fittings.


Size: 8 to 10mm long. Wingspan 18 to 20mm.
Shape: Wings with full vein patterns. Long dark legs. Well developed piercing mouthparts.
Colour: Grey black thorax and abdomen.
Biology: Eggs laid on the surface of standing often stagnant water but some species prefer salt and others brackish water. The boat shaped eggs are known as rafts and float horizontally. The larvae hatch and are aquatic coming to the surface to breath. Larvae moult 4 to 5 times over 4 to 8 weeks. Pupation takes place in the water. Adults hatch a couple of weeks later. Hibernation takes place in late autumn by the females only whilst the males are short lived and die prior to winter.
Preferred Foods: Males feed on nectar of flowing plants. Females bite animals including man for the blood meal.
Habitat: Found throughout the UK and will readily enter buildings attracted by lights and often to seek harbourage, damp alley ways and areas behind buildings in the shade not receiving much sunlight are favoured. Water butts, guttering and empty containers that fill with water will support breeding colonies.
Oriental/Common Cockroach

Oriental/Common Cockroach

Size: 17 to 30mm.
Shape: Very shiny and very flattened. Female has very  reduced wing buds and the male wings are longer to almost the end of the abdomen.  Long flexible antennae. Cannot fly but very fast running.  Cannot climb smooth surfaces.
Colour: Dark brown to black.
Biology: Oethecae produced 5 to 10 per female each containing 16/18 eggs. Incubation 48 to 80 days at 20oc to 25oc preferred temperature. Nymphal stages 7 to 10 to adult. Life span 60 to 250 days depending on temperature.
Preferred Foods: Omnivorous feeding on any organic matter including human waste to soap, candles, paper  etc., etc..
Habitat: World wide in mainly heated buildings, drains, dustbins, cellars, boiler houses, ducting, lift shafts. Can squeeze into very small cracks  and will exploit bad fitting coving and door jams etc.


Size: Size 34 - 45cm with large ears and eyes
Shape: Weight approx 3-4lbs. Both sexes similar size.
Colour: Greyish/brown
Biology: Mating occurs throughout the year with most litters born between February and August. Litters range in size between 3 and 12, after a gestation period of 28-33 days, and the kittens are weaned after 28 days. Due to this rapid breeding potential rabbit populations can withstand high mortality from natural causes, so control efforts by man must add to these, not merely replace them, if direct control is to be effective. Because of the size of the effort required, and the rabbit's inherent capacity for population increase, complete eradication is impractical. Instead, the aim should be to reduce rabbit numbers to levels at which damage is economically acceptable.
Preferred Foods: They damage crops and grassland by digging shallow holes to get at roots as well as eating the grass/crops. They will also destroy many garden plants and small trees by digging and feeding upon.
Habitat: Rabbits have a burrow system known as a warren, and tunnels can be 1-2m long. The nest at the end of the tunnel is lined with grass, moss and belly fur. They use regular trails, which they scent mark with faecal pellets.
Other Info: Rabbits do not respect boundaries and the most effective results will be achieved if management action is undertaken on adjoining land at the same time in a co-operative exercise. Fencing areas and then eliminating the population in the fenced areas can be undertaken. But control may take some time.
Roe deer

Roe deer

Size: The roe doe is smaller in size than the buck
Shape: The roe buck is readily identified by the short antlers and markings on the head. The roe doe is smaller in size than the buck. The rump patch becomes white and expands to form a large disc when they are excited or alarmed.
Colour: In summer, the adult coat will be rich, foxy red. In winter, the adult coat becomes a greyish fawn colour, flecked with yellow.
Biology: The most important part of the year for the roe buck is when they establish their territories at the end of April to May. The mating season, known as the rut, comes in late July and August. Peculiarly among British deer, there is a delay in the implantation of the fertilised egg in the female. This is believed to be nature's way of postponing birth until favourable conditions exist for the kids. Kids are born in the May or June following the rut. Twins are common and there are sometimes triplets. Newly born young can sometimes be seen lying among bracken, bramble or grasses. They have not been abandoned but simply left, camouflaged by their spotted coats. The doe will be close by and will return to suckle them several times a day.
Preferred Foods: Roe deer are herbivores and graze all types of ground vegetation. They also browse shrub layers in a wood, and the growing shoots and leaves of holly and beech trees.
Habitat: Roe are mainly woodland deer, but in recent years the rise in numbers has led them to colonising more open areas such as rank heather, scrub and agricultural ground.

Thompson Pest Control helped me get control of my pest problem in a quick and efficient manner. If the pests do come back, Thompson will be called back too.

Alison Dewar , Dundee