Blighted by fruit flies, fleas and bedbugs – the top three pests we’re searching the internet to remove.
The research by experts 24/7 Pest Control found that other popular – or rather unpopular – searches are fleas in second, bed bugs in third and rats in fourth.
Fifth place belongs to mice, while perennial picnic ruiner the wasp is in fifth.
Ants take seventh place, flies are in eighth, silverfish are ninth and moles are the tenth most searched pest.
Although arachnophobia is a common fear, searches for “how to get rid of spiders” rank outside the top ten in 11th position.
Searches for how to eradicate fruit flies total more than 19,000 on average each month. “How to get rid of fleas” is searched an average of just over 16,000 times each month, while advice on bed bugs receives a similar number.
The study also analysed search trends, finding that searches for how to get rid of fruit flies spike each year in August, and in 2020 the phrase received its highest ever number of searches.
Fruit flies are especially common toward the end of summer because they are attracted to ripened or fermenting fruits and vegetables, making foods like bananas, potatoes and onions, which are often unrefrigerated, a key source of contamination.
Fleas provoke a similar late-summer spike with searches at their highest in August and September.
“How to get rid of bed bugs” doesn’t follow such a clear pattern, however April 2020, just as the UK’s first national lockdown had begun, saw the highest ever number of searches for the phrase.
Commenting on the results, a spokesperson for 24/7 Pest Control said:
“These results show that a pest doesn’t need to be big to cause problems.
“Fleas and bedbugs can be particularly difficult to get rid of, so the infestation can eat away at you in more ways than one.
“Although people might feel embarrassed about their pest problems, the volume of monthly searches shows that they’re very common across the country.”
Globally the biggest pest problem that people are hoping to eradicate is flies, followed by rats, with mice in third, while ants are in fourth and bed bugs are fifth.
The research was carried out by 24/7 Pest Control, which aims to provide effective pest control services and make them as easily available as possible.
The UK’s most Googled pest problems, ranked by monthly average number of searches
fruit flies – 19,100
fleas – 16,300
bed bugs – 16,100
rats – 13,000
mice – 12,200
wasps – 11,000
ants – 10,300
flies – 8,100
silverfish – 6,400
moles – 6,000