But after successfully seeing off the likes of Napoleon and Hitler, our shores have finally been breached by an army of lethal foreign invaders.
For a new survey shows that homes across Britain have become infested by killer spiders, biting ants and skin-crawling cockroaches shipped in from distant lands.
The survey of local authority pest control teams illustrates the wide variety of exotic pests now established in UK homes - and experts believe their numbers are increasing.
Among the most terrifying revelations are the numerous sightings of the redback spider - believed to be responsible for 14 fatalities in its native Australia. The pea-sized killer has been found in Scotland, Wales and the Midlands.
Victims of the redback bite can suffer extreme pain and swelling, chest pains, fever and respiratory failure. Around 250 cases are reported in Australia each year, with victims needing to be treated with anti-venom. Read More