Pest ControlProblem pests and how to control them

Problem pests and how to control them

Most of us like to keep our homes warm and cosy, so they’re comfy to live in. But it’s not just us humans that enjoy the comfort of our homes. There’s a whole range of pests that do too. Modern homes are lovely and warm and full of natural fibres and foodstuffs. This makes them the perfect habitat for pests. 

So, it’s more than likely you’ll need to deal with the odd insect or rodent from time to time. But what should we be aware of? What pests commonly invade homes and how to you stop them taking over? Let’s take a look at common problem pests and how you control them.

Fleas and bed bugs

Blood-sucking pests are not only unpleasant to have in your house but they can be very hard to spot. Plus, they’re often difficult to get rid of once they’ve made themselves at home. Two common blood-suckers are fleas and bed bugs.

You might think that fleas are only problematic if you own a cat or dog, but fleas have a sneaky habit of getting everywhere. A previous tenant could have brought them into your home, as eggs can lay dormant for some time. Or rodents may be bringing them in. But as fleas don’t lay eggs on animals but in gardens and on furnishings, you may get fleas without animals being present. But you’ll know when they are present, as they can be seen hopping around. And you’re likely to feel itchy or see bites on your limbs. 

If you do have pets, get them treated and keep their bedding clean. Be thorough with your vacuuming, paying close attention to carpets and sofa cushions. If you think it’s more than a rogue flea, you can buy powders and sprays to kill them or hire a pest control company to treat your home with insecticide.

Bed bugs are often thought of as a Victorian problem, but they’ve made a bit of a resurgence of late. This is largely down to our love of travel. As we move about, these bugs tend to hitchhike with us. As the name suggests, these critters hide in the crevices of your bed. However, they’re small and very hard to spot. The giveaway is usually the bites you’re left with. Bed bugs spread easily, so it’s very important to call out a pest control company to deal with them properly. 


Moths have long been wreaking havoc in our homes. They can destroy both clothes and carpets with ease. Carpet moths and clothes moths love natural fibres including wool. The moths lay their eggs in these fibres, giving the larvae something to chow down on when they hatch. 

You may see the moths flying around. Or they may be clinging to your curtains, hanging out between your clothes or hiding under the sofa. But the eggs and larvae are harder to spot. Usually the first sign of a problem is when you find holes in your carpets or clothes. There are chemical, natural and heat-based treatments available but you may need professional help to be sure they’re effective. 

Moths like dark spaces, so you can help keep them at bay by regularly moving your furniture and vacuuming underneath. Space out the clothes in your wardrobe and seal up and put away clothes you don’t often wear. 


Mice and rats are the most common rodents that enter our homes. They can spread disease, gnaw electric wires and raid our cupboards. So, they’re certainly problematic and impossible to leave to their own devices. 

You can minimise potential problems by blocking up obvious entry points and by keeping food stored away securely. Regularly emptying bins and wiping up crumbs will help remove temptation. 

Mice and rats are likely to be active around the home during the night, as they’re not keen on humans. So, you may not see or hear them. But they do leave droppings, meaning it’s usually obvious when they’re present in your home. You can use a traditional or humane trap to be sure. But the easiest way to work out whether you have a problem is to hire pest control experts. They used to tackling these pests and can keep monitoring your home for you, to be sure they don’t return. 


A notorious pest that can be found worldwide, cockroaches are not only distasteful to look at but can also carry a range of diseases. Often attracted to food remnants, especially in kitchens, they can be spotted scurrying away when you turn on the light. Preventing an infestation includes keeping food securely stored, regularly emptying bins, and ensuring your home is free from dampness, which they thrive in. While roach traps and sprays can be found in most stores, a severe infestation may require professional intervention. It’s vital to act swiftly, as these insects reproduce rapidly.


Termites are the silent destroyers of homes, often causing structural damage before homeowners even realize they’re present. They primarily feed on wood, but also consume paper, books, insulation, and even swimming pool liners. Regularly inspecting your home for signs of termite activity, like mud tubes or wood that sounds hollow when tapped, can help with early detection. Prevention methods include keeping mulch, wood, and deadfall away from your home’s foundation. If you suspect an infestation, it’s crucial to consult a pest control professional immediately, as they have specialized treatments to combat these destructive pests.


Ants can be a recurring nuisance in many households, especially during warmer months. They often enter homes searching for food, particularly sweet or greasy substances. While they don’t usually cause any direct harm, some species, like the carpenter ant, can cause structural damage, and others can deliver painful bites. Keeping food items securely stored, wiping up spills promptly, and sealing any cracks or gaps in your home’s exterior can deter these tiny invaders. Ant baits and sprays can be effective for minor infestations, but a larger problem might require professional treatment.


While most spiders are harmless and even beneficial by preying on other pests, no one wants a spider infestation in their home. They typically come indoors seeking shelter and food. Some, like the brown recluse or black widow, can pose health risks with their bites. To prevent spiders, reduce clutter in your home, keep vegetation away from your home’s perimeter, and seal cracks and gaps in doors and windows. While most spiders can be easily dealt with using store-bought sprays, if you suspect the presence of a dangerous species, it’s best to call in experts to ensure your home is safe.

Using a pest control company

As we’ve seen, using professional pest control companies is the best way to deal with these common pests. It takes away a lot of the uncertainty. And where chemicals are involved, it’s usually safer. In addition, they have more knowledge and better access to professional products than we do. 

Of course, the common reason not to use a pest control company is the cost. However, pest control costs aren’t as high as you might think. For instance, you’ll pay between £80 and £150 to get rid of fleas from your carpets and furniture. And despite the tricky nature of bed bugs, treatment should only cost around £135 to £215. 

Heather Jones
Heather Jones
Hello! I'm Heather Jones, a dedicated writer and expert in the fields of DIY projects, home improvement, and emergency preparedness. With over 15 years of hands-on experience, I'm committed to sharing practical tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your home and life.

Subscribe Today


Get unlimited access to our EXCLUSIVE Content and our archive of subscriber stories.

Exclusive content

Latest articles

Popular Articles

More articles