SOMERSET has the second highest number of home-invading spring species of pests and insects in the UK, according to new research.

Research by cleaning specialist Cleanipedia showed that a total of 591 different species were observed in Somerset over the last decade.

Only Greater London (691) had more, with Kent (485), Shropshire (434) and Merseyside (393) making up the rest of the top five, and Devon (345) ranked seventh.

Flies are the most common species of home-invading pests in the county, with 510 observations.

Alice Shaw-Beckett, from Cleanipedia, said that rats, mice and cockroaches have been more drawn to private homes during lockdown, due to increased food waste and less rubbish in the city streets.

Shaw-Beckett also gave some pointers for how to prevent these insects and pests from invading your home.

"Insects often get into your home through gaps in the walls and entry points like windows, vents and pipes," she said.

"Inspect your home for cracks and crevices, and make sure to seal them to prevent more bugs from coming in.

"You can either seal the door by installing a nylon sturdy steel or use a door sweep.

"When it comes to windows, make sure that you always use screens if you open them to prevent insects from invading your home."

She added: "Cleaning your home, especially the kitchen, regularly minimises the risk of hungry insects looking for your leftover food.

"Make sure to mop up any spills and wipe down surfaces to prevent an insect invasion, and keep your bins sealed until you can empty them. Don’t let them overflow!

"Keep your opened food in sealed containers or put them in the fridge to ward off bugs like ants and beetles.

"You can never go wrong with a cleaning routine: make sure to vacuum your carpets and rugs and disinfect surfaces regularly.

"Dampness and wet areas in the house can attract insects like cockroaches, so watch out for leaking pipes."

Cleanipedia analysed nearly 60,000 verified observations of spring insects and pests known for damaging clothes, fabrics, and other parts of the home in the UK on the biodiversity database iNaturalist.

The full study can be found here.