Common insect pest species in homes
This section contains information on a number of common insect pest species that can be found in UK homes and cause damage to food, furniture, clothes and plants.
Each page offers information on how to identify the pest, its life cycle and suggestions as to how to control it.
Bread, or biscuit beetle (Stegobium paniceum) identification guide
The bread, also known as the biscuit beetle or drugstore beetle, is one of the commonest pest insects of stored food. They are small, between 2-4 mm in length, and reddish-brown.
Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella) identification guide
The pantry, or Indian meal moth is a common pest of stored foods. As the yellowish white or pinkish larvae feed they cover foodstuff with webbing - often the first indication of an infestation.
Golden spider beetle (Niptus hololeucus) identification guide
The golden spider beetle has golden yellow, silky hair and a spider like appearance. Adults are 3.0-4.5 mm long. Often a pest of stored food products but can also attack textiles.
Clothes, carpets and natural fibres pests
Carpet beetles identification guide
There are a number of species of beetle in the UK that will attack natural fibres such as wool, silk, fur, feathers and skins. It is the immature larvae forms that cause the damage, rather than the adult beetles.
Clothes moths identification guide
The two moths most commonly found in UK homes doing damage to natural fibres are the common clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) and the case-bearing clothes moth (Tinea pellionella).
Furniture beetle (Anobium punctatum) identification guide
Furniture beetle larve develop over 3-5 years, feeding and growing within wood. When the adult beetles exit the larval tunnels, they leave behind round exit holes 1.5-2.0 mm wide, and small piles of wood dust characteristic of woodworm damage.
Death watch beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum) identification guide
Adult death watch beetles are 5-9mm in length. Holes in wood from their tunneling larvae are the most likely piece of evidence to suggest an infestation. The holes and tunnels are circular and around 3mm in diameter.
Powder-post beetle (Lyctus brunneus) identification guide
Adult powder-post beetles are generally 4-5 mm long and range in colour from light brown to reddish-brown. Adult beetles usually emerge from the infested wood between May and September, with bore holes 1.5mm to 2mm in diameter.
Vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) identification guide
Vine weevils are fairly large beetles, around 1cm in length, with long snouts (rostrums) and elbowed antennae. As plant pests, their larvae live in the soil and eat roots, while the adults feed on foilage.
Bed bug (Cimex lectularius) identification guide
Bed bug adults are small (4–5 mm long and 1.5–3.0 mm wide), oval, flattish insects with needle-like mouthparts which pierce the skin of mammals and birds to suck their blood. Usually bed bugs are mahogany-brown in colour but they become deep purple or red after a meal.