My house was built over 200 years ago when George III was on the throne and long before the first set of Building Regulations were published in 1963. The windows are draughty, the front door doesnâ€™t fit properly and sometimes the slate slips off the roof when itâ€™s windy. I take comfort in the fact that the house is 200 years old and still hasnâ€™t fallen down. The carpet is due for retirement but I’ve just discovered some wierd insects living in it.
Shortly after we moved into the crumbling pile that I call home we had a problem with fleas in the carpet. A technician came round and fumigated the carpet. To ensureÂ we donâ€™t get another infestation Iâ€™ve been really careful to vacuum regularly, right up to the edges using the special attachment tool, to remove any flea eggs before they hatch.
Insects may be tiny but they have a strong survival instinct. They know that the edge of the carpet is the hardest to keep clean, even with a special attachment tool. Cracks and crevices hide organic debris upon which an insect can feast. To keep on top of pest prevention I removed all the furniture from the edges of the wall, including a very heavy bookshelf. After heaving it away from the wall there were threadbare patches and some unidentifiable larvae.
I called Matt the Rentokil Entomologist.
â€œThere are weird insects in my carpet!â€ I shrieked.
â€œSend them to me and Iâ€™ll ID them,â€ Matt said calmly. â€œIt could be a case of woolly bears with alopeciaâ€ he said, knowledgably.
I gathered up the larvae and posted them to him. A few days later Matt called back.
â€œIâ€™ve received the merchandise!â€ he said excitedly. (Matt gets VERY excited about insects). He emailed through a picture taken with his fandangled USB microsope.
â€œYou have Tachypodoiulus niger, or Black Millipedes, which have too many legs for a purist entomologist to be concerned with. Fortunately though, I like anything creepy like that. These lovely creatures eat fruit, vegetables…. and mould.â€ he said. â€œYou have some Frog hoppers too, but they aren’t eating the carpet.â€
â€œMillipedes. Yuk!â€ I said, looking at the picture of the shrivelled up nasties. â€œWhat are they doing in my house?â€
â€œThey are symptomatic of damp conditions.â€
Brilliant! Not only do I have the equivalent of the Mistral rattling through the drawing room Iâ€™ve got a damp house, probably exacerbated by poor building standards.
I wonder if I can get staff discount off Rentokil Property Care?