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Insect nuisance

Nuisance insects

Insects are amongst the most diverse and common of all living organisms on earth. They live in a variety of habitats and play a vital role in the environment. They maintain ecosystems through pollination, soil maintenance and other functions.

Insects can become a pest when they are present in high numbers, or in places where you do not want them. Some examples include:

  • Flying insects – including bees, flies, fleas, wasps and midges
  • Crawling insects – such as ants, beetles, earwigs and cockroaches
  • Biting insects – including mosquitos and ticks

Insect control

You can control the insects yourself if you follow the advice on the following websites:

The Council does not provide a pest control service.

The British Pest Control Association provides information on a range of nuisance insects in their A-Z of pests. This includes ways of identifying the type of insect and advice on how to control them.

Find a pest controller

Can I complain to the Council about insects?

We cannot help you with a complaint about insects arising in your own property or about insects arising on any other domestic premises.  However, it may be possible for you to take private nuisance action under common law.  You may wish to take legal advice before considering this action.

Insects from commercial premises

Where the source of the insect problem is from certain commercial premises, we may be able to help you. For example flies from poultry houses, landfill sites, and sewage treatment works.

This specific law does not apply to insects from domestic premises. The law also protects certain insects from being a nuisance.

The following types of land are not covered by the law. This is to safeguard endangered species and protect biodiversity

  • land used as arable, grazing, meadow or pasture-land (but not structures placed on the land),
  • land used as osier land, reed beds, or woodland,
  • land used for market gardens, nursery grounds or orchards,
  • land forming part of an agricultural unit (but not covered). And which is of a description specified in regulations
  • land included in a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
  • rivers, watercourses (except sewers and drains), lakes and ponds.

Insects from domestic premises

The insect statutory nuisance law excludes insects from domestic premises. We may be able to help if another type of nuisance, such as rotting waste, is causing the problem.

Wild bees and wasps

The British Bee-Keepers Association offers further information and advice on wild bees.

If a wasps’ nest is on your own land you should contact a local swarm collector.

Find a swarm collector

Cornwall Council property

For wasps or wild bees on Cornwall Council property please contact us at or call 0300 1234 232.

Roadside hedges or verges

For wasps or wild bees in a roadside hedges or verges please contact the Roads, Highways and Pavements Team, or call 0300 1234 222

Other land

We are unable to help with complaints about wasps or wild bees on any other land.

Report an insect nuisance

Please see our Statutory nuisance webpage for advice on how to make a complaint of insect nuisance arising on commercial property. 

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