definition of pests

Definition Of Pests: Where Do They Cross The Line?

What is the definition of pests? When does a bug, insect, or animal actually become a pest? At which point can you begin to classify something as a problem? In this article we’re going to attempt to answer and define this question.

The definition of pests includes the point at which something becomes problematic is simple. This mostly refers to the point at which an organism becomes problematic or highly problematic to human beings.

Pests can cause health hazards

The biggest example of this is when pests begin to spread disease. This is the primary reason why many of the creatures we consider pests are actually considered pests. For example, things like cockroaches, rodents and flies are all known for spreading horrific diseases and conditions. If rats and mice didn’t spread disease, then we probably wouldn’t see them as a problem.

mouse in a building

Basically, the definition of pests is that they spread disease. The best and most well-known example of this is rats and bubonic plague. Rats spread this disease and become an incredible challenge for humans.

Another important example of this is the food industry. This is why the industry has such stringent pest control measures. Pests often spread bacteria such as salmonella. When this happens in places like restaurants the result is food poisoning. This can lead to serious illnesses and even death. Why some bugs are also placed under the definition of pests is because they destroy food.

When these pests attack food, they contaminate it, and this food must be thrown away. In the example of restaurants this can cause serious financial damages. Also consider if this happens when the food is actually needed for survival. When food stores are low the last thing you want is that food being destroyed by pests.

earwigs at night

This spread of bacteria can also happen in places like food processing plants. Pests spread disease and bacteria into processed food. This leads to the widespread breakout of disease. In fact, there have been countless stories of this happening in processing plants.

Pests can cause damage

Whether or not something can be defined as a pest also has to do with the damage it causes. This can refer both of property and also to other objects such as personal items, cars, clothing etc. for example, the reason why rats are such an issue is because they can immense damage. These pests will gnaw through anything and everything. If you have an infestation they will chew through wood, concrete, and even electrical wires. They also tear apart items like clothing, books, and cardboard in pursuit of building materials for their nests.

bird damage roof

Then there are things like birds and squirrels. These pests can completely tear your roof apart and cause structural hazards. They cause extensive and highly expensive damage and are thus seen as pests. Finally, you have something like moths which destroy clothing.

Other factors to consider

Something being considered a pest may also have to do with the geographical area. Some animals are not seen as a problem in some area. It’s not the animals per se that are pests, only when they cause problems for humans. Mice in the wild for example, are no bother to anyone. On the other hand, it’s when these animals come into your home that they can be considered pests.

Ultimately, the definition of pests, basically has to do with how these creatures interact with humans and our property. Many creatures, such as bees and voles, cause no problems to humans. Other creatures, such as cockroaches and flies, cause serious issues. This basically becomes when certain organisms fall under the definition of pests.