Crawling Insects

Book lice

These are soft bodied creatures that are very roughly 2cm long. Book lice are also known as psocids and their feeding does not cause damage.

Their presence is usually indicative that there is a high humidity in the area and one of the fastest ways to control their numbers is to reduce humidity to correct heating, ventilation and even dehumidifier. They usually feed on moulds that grow in damp areas.


Always take a sample of the insect involved. We can identify it for you free of charge.

Grain weevils

These are very distinctive by their pronounced beak or “snout”, known as rostrum. Again, normally a dark brown or reddish colour and found in cereal, rice and other dried products.

Red poultry mite

These are as the name suggests, tiny mites associated with either poultry houses or birds’ nests. They do appear red in colour. They do have the ability to bite but are often more annoying with a feeling like cobwebs over your skin if you happen to get some on you. Removal of the offending bird’s nest and a treatment with insecticide is usually efficient to control these.

Stored product moths

Mediterranean flour moth, Indian meal moth and brown house moth. With these, once again their name gives way to their favoured feeding area for the larvae which is a flour or dried fruit. They are not very common nowadays but location of contaminated goods and disposal of them is key to quickly gaining control of the problem.

Common clothes moth (tineola bisselliella)

Features and habits

As its name suggests, the clothes moth and its larvae frequent normally wool or sometimes cotton based clothes or carpets, blankets or indeed anything that is made of wool. Damage to a carpet can be rather obvious and the damage to a favourite jacket or jumper can be rather annoying to find. Its appearance is a fawny brown colour for the adult moth and its wing span is approximately 8-10mm.

How do we control them?

When a customer phones Assured Environmental Services we take their details and try to evaluate the extent of the problem through our conversation. At this point we shall also try to give an example of the possible cost involved. We arrange an appointment to visit the site and we can then fully assess and advise the problem. After this, with the customers’ agreement we can proceed with the work if they wish which we do so in a safe and effective manner. We try to help by advising on conditions or actions that can be taken to promote a successful outcome of our treatment and help prevent the problem arising again.

Treat the affected area to try and get insecticide to where the larvae are feeding, alternatively as moths emerge from their pupil case, these come into contact with the insecticide and are killed before they can mate and lay more eggs. There are some very good demi-diamond traps which attract moths to them by a pheromone and these are great for both picking up adults and providing a monitoring device both after and during a treatment.

Before & after treatment advice

Vacuum well prior to treatment to ensure the best possible efficiency of the insecticide used, perhaps go through old cupboards that may store woollen blankets or old jackets to try and track down a source of infestation. Place in a bin bag and keep for us to look at when we arrive at your premises.

After treatment we recommend monitoring of the situation with a demi-diamond clothes moth trap. They are very effective at attracting moths. We may recommend a follow up treatment in the following spring; when it seems that most moths start to emerge. By then the previous application of insecticide would have broken down.


These can often be found on dogs or pets. They are often associated in areas where there are sheep or deer present. They look like a large bean or mole on your dog and have to be removed very carefully. They can also attach themselves to humans and are carriers of Lymes disease. If you are in an area that is renowned for having ticks, repellents may be used on your clothing. Any other treatment is probably unsatisfactory as they are usually only brought into the household by pets or humans.

Harvest mite or bracken bug

These as is hinted to in their name, usually become a problem in August/Autumn time. They are sometimes known as chiggers. Once again they just occur naturally out of doors in vegetation matter and can be quite localised.

To my knowledge there is no treatment that the pest controller can carry out for them, even though I have experienced them several times myself and understand how annoying they can be, causing itchy, pustule like bumps on the skin, often dozens of them in the area where the belt or socks are. As with ticks, prevention of them gaining access to the body can be done by tucking your socks in and using an insect repellent on your clothing.

Wood lice and centipedes

These often enter houses by accident. Houses that are prone to them usually have thick, random stone walls and quite often rotting vegetation near or around the edge of them. They are harmless to man but sometimes invade his home.


There are many different types of spiders present that try to co-habit with us. Some people have a severe aversion to spiders but with the exception of the recent advent of the false widow or any other imported spider, any natives of Britain do not deliver any deadly bites.


These enter our houses sometimes by accident, peculiarly enough often in periods of heavy rain where I feel they are trying to avoid the downpour. There are no professional products which we are equipped with to treat them in the house and it is probably far better to buy something from your local hardware store to use safely after reading the label.

Silverfish, earwigs, etc.

These too often invade our house; silverfish especially seem to be nocturnal. Silverfish do not really cause any damage to the household and do not carry any diseases but people are often averse to their scurrying nature when a light goes on in the middle of the night.

Cable bug

Often blotches on the skin of office staff and sudden biting sensations on the leg in offices can sometimes be down to the “cable bug” phenomenon. This nowadays can often be caused by static from synthetic carpets building up and when the static is earthed it can feel just like an insect bite. Likewise, small shards of paper can cause irritation to the skin and make office staff feel that they have been bitten. Lastly, from where the old name comes from, “cable bug”, it can be through broken wires pricking the legs of people under desks.

All the above mentioned situations can lead to people feeling that there is a biting insect in the office that is causing the problem. It is up to the pest control company to correctly identify any pests present prior to describing treatments with insecticide. In these situations Assured Environmental staff will use insect traps with pheromones on and also specially designed flea traps to try and collect a sample to identify it.

It is very important to correctly identify an insect prior to treatment or if a sample isn’t found then quite often the problem can be put down to “cable bug”. It is important that we correctly identify what the problem is as if it is not an insect, no spraying of insecticide will get to the root of the problem.

However with all of the above information sometimes people may experience bites and could say pick them up on the bus or on a walk to work, and insect bites sometimes aren’t noticed until once it’s down at your place of work. If you have a problem with suspected “cable bug” or any other biting insect, please don’t hesitate to contact us and our aim will be to get to the root of the problem.