Pest (biology)

living organism detrimental to humans or human concerns

A pest is an animal which harms humans or human concerns.[1] It is a loosely defined term; it overlaps with the terms vermin, weeds, parasites and pathogens. In its broadest sense, a pest is a competitor of humanity.[2]

Carpet beetle larvae damaging a specimen of Sceliphron destillatorius in an insect collection

Top ten pests


According to BBC News Science & Environment, these are among the top ten pests of plants: [3] Fungi are prominent in their list, and it is more usual to call them pathogens.

  1. Desert locust Schistocerca gregaria
  2. Rubber blight Microcyclus ulei
  3. Corn root worm Diabrotica virgifera virgifera
  4. Potato blight Phytophthora infestans, an Oomycete
  5. Khapra beetle Trogoderma granarium
  6. Mountain pine beetle Dendroctonus ponderosae
  7. Wheat stem rust Puccinia graminis tritici
  8. Colorado beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata

Serious beetle pests



  1. Mirriam-Webster dictionary, 2010.
  2. "Pest - vermin". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  3. BBC News Science & Environment [1]