The rat has plagued man for thousands of
years – literally plagued him, for the rat flea was responsible
for the Black Death. There are two species of rat in Britain,
Rattus norvegicus which is commonly known as the Brown Rat and Rattus rattus which has the common names Black Rat or Ship
The Brown Rat is the larger, often weighing
over half a kilo and measuring about 23cm, without counting the
tail. It has a blunt muzzle, small hair-covered ears and a tail
that is shorter than its body length. The Black Rat weighs only
half as much and is slightly shorter. It has a pointed muzzle,
large, almost hairless ears, a more slender body and a long thin
tail that is longer than its body. weil`s disease is on the
increase in Britain
Large, conspicuous buzzing insects with
yellow and black striped, wasp-waisted bodies, 10-15mm long. They
have a sweet tooth at one end and a painful sting at the other The
queen wasp is larger (20mm) and she hibernates over winter, making
a nest in the spring in which to lay her eggs. She feeds the grubs
on insects until they develop into worker wasps, three to four
weeks later. Workers, all sterile females, forage for over a mile
in search of food. One nest may produce 30,000 wasps in a year.
Providers of honey and almost universally viewed with affection by
the public, honey bees are one of the most well known insects.
Many species of bee are found in the United Kingdom. Some produce
honey, some do not. Some live in highly organised colonies, some
on their own. Some sting, some do not.
Bees rarely present problems as pests. However, feral swarms can
set up home in undesirable places such as chimneys and wall
cavities. Bee keepers may be reluctant to take such swarms due to
a parasitic mite which many swarms carry. Control may, therefore,
be necessary. Bees are not protected and control is best left to
professionals; honey bees have a barbed sting and die once they
have used this.