The word pest is a general term use to describe any organism (animal or plant) that cause a certain level of nuisance or damage to humans, livestock and cultivated plants. Pests destroy our foods, invade our home transmit diseases to humans and livestock. Animal pests includes arthropods (insects and other related organisms), mammals (rodents and alike), birds and other wildlife animals that may directly or indirectly affect human well being. Pests of plant origin include any unwanted plant or grass (typically known as weeds) that attack and compete with cultivated crops, flowers or decorative plants around homes, lawns, or playing field, thereby reducing or eliminating their productivity. Pests can generally be distinguished into three categories depending on how they affect human life, including agricultural pests, home and nuisance pests, and disease vectors.
Agricultural pests destroy our crops before harvest(field pests) or after harvest during storage (stored product pests), which tremendously affect food availability. Moreover, agricultural pests are responsible for the loss of millions of dollars in revenue, and are often associated with food insecurity, and starvation throughout history. Through their damaging action pests can severely affect the global food production specially in our interconnected world where the food that make up our dishes come from different part of the world.
Home and Nuisance Pests
Household or home pests are pests that infest homes or live in them. They may not cause disease to humans, but can be a big source of nuisance. Home pests such as bed bugs are a major source of nightmare as these tiny “vampires” feed on human blood and can cause severe skin allergic reactions. Other home pests such as cockroaches are associated with filthy matters and therefore are disgusting to many people. Cockroaches may mechanically transmit diseases but the this point is controversial. Home pests can also cause severe damages to structures around houses, hotels and restaurants. Termites, for instance destroy building structures. Nuisance pests have become so resurgent in urban environment that pest management industry have grown exponentially, with many companies providing specialized pest control solutions.. Read more about home pest control.
They are the third category of pests that affect human life. By definition a vector is an organism that does not cause a disease itself but which spreads diseases among other organisms. A notorious example is the mosquito Anopheles gambiae that transmit malaria in tropical regions of the world , particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Mosquitoes are not the cause of disease but serve as reservoir and breeding organism for the nefarious pathogen (Plasmodium sp.). They distribute the pathogen from one infected person to another one, thereby constitute a disease vector. These disease vectors also affect livestock as they transmitting deadly diseases to them.On this website you will find more information on these categories of pests and how to combat them, or reduce their impacts on human beings. We would appreciate hearing any comment or questions you may have related to pests and vectors control and management strategies. The quickest way to reach us is by using the contact form here .
What is Pest control?
Pest control is much more than just spraying insecticides and killing whatever bug. Pest control, by definition is a combination of techniques and strategies design to reduce a pest population to an acceptable level that is no longer a threat to crops or homes. The ultimate goal of pest control program is to eliminate the the pest population. This can often be easily done for home pests because of the confined area of a home or office. For agricultural pests, controlling pest can be much more complicated. In fact entomologist in many universities prefer to refer to pest management rather than pest control because it is practically impossible to completely eliminate insects pests. Many factors need to be taken into account in order bring an insect population to a level that is no longer a threat for crops or home. The use of insecticides to kill agricultural pests often solve only a temporary problem. In the long run it will lead to the development of insecticide resistance in the insect population. For any insect population you have a large genetic diversity, which means that you have naturally susceptible and resistant individuals and most often the number of susceptible individual is larger and out compete the resistant individuals. By using insecticides you kill the susceptible insects and sparing the resistant ones. This means less competition for them and consequently a rapid growth and replacement of the susceptible population. This is usually what happen when people use insecticides for the first time, they notice that most of the insect population is decimated thinking that the war is over. Big mistake!!! The absence of the susceptible individuals allow the resistant one to grow exponentially. Now the insect pest population has grown and resistant to the insecticide you initially used. In such circumstance non-experienced farmers usually attempt to apply more and more insecticides. This only increase the problem instead of solving it.