Top 5 Most Hated Pests

April 6, 2011 · Posted in Infectious Control Systems 

Let’s admit it. We hate pests. Some of us, even the manliest man, shriek at the mere sight of a cockroach. Some even contact exterminators, armed with weird-looking thingamajigs. We don’t care how pests are killed, but we simply want them out of our house. Although biologists and critter enthusiasts contend that everything in this world has a purpose to maintain the balance of nature, we just can’t help but loathe pests. Among the top 5 most hated pests by humans are:

IMG_76575. Cockroaches. Scientific name: Blattaria or Blattodea. The term “cockroach” came from the Spanish term cucaracha which means a “kind of caterpillar”. Of the 4,500 species of cockroach, 4 species are known as pests – the American cockroach, the German cockroach, the Asian cockroach, and the Oriental cockroach. These pests thrive in human habitations. Roaches are hated by humans as they’re omnivorous, feeding on pretty much everything, especially human food. They give out this foul odor and carry and transmit diseases. Some of the diseases humans get from roaches are dysentery, gastroenteritis, hepatitis A, leprosy, poliomyelitis, and typhoid.

Potter Wasp - probably Delta hottentotticum4. Wasps. Scientific name: Hymenoptera. Wasps are parasites that can sting a human repeatedly. And unlike bees, wasps do not die after inflicting a sting. They sting whenever they feel they or their nest is threatened. A wasp sting can be venomous, posing danger to humans, especially to those allergic to their poison. Wasps are actually pretty amazing in biocontrol, meaning they control the number of almost all insect species. They’re parasitoids – parasites that devour their hosts from the inside out. How? A wasp enslaves its host, paralyzing it, then plants its larvae inside the host’s body. The wasp then leaves. The host’s paralysis wears off, and the host continues to live for a few more days without knowing that there’s a growing larvae inside its body. The larvae feed on the host’s body, until they’re fully grown to burst out, eventually killing the host. Awesome isn’t it? It’s like watching an alien movie!

Nibbler Drinks Water3. Rats. Scientific name: Rattus. The best known rat species are the black rats (Rattus Rattus) and the brown rats (Rattus Norvegicus). Though rats are useful in the fields of land mining and tuberculosis detection due to their great sense of smell, rats are zoonotic vectors, carrying diseases like Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), Murine Typhus, Rat-bite fever (RBF), Salmonella enteric serovar Typhimurium, Leptospirosis, and Eosinophilic Meningitis. Rats have long been hated by humans. Remember the bubonic plague which was said to have killed 75,000,000? This was blamed on rats, although it can be attributed to the fleas carried by the rats.

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2. Mosquitoes. Scientific name: Culicidae. Mosquito is Spanish or Portuguese for “little fly”. Mosquitoes have mouthparts that can the pierce skin. People hate mosquitoes because female mosquitoes feed on human blood before producing eggs. And because mosquitoes feed on humans, this makes them transmitters of pathogens and diseases. Among of these diseases are encephalitis, dengue, malaria, rift valley fever, and yellow fever.

A molecular model of the bacterial cytoplasm by Adrian Elcock1. E. Coli. Scientific name: Escherichia coli. It’s the tiniest of all the pests in this list, but E. Coli packs a nasty effect to humans. E. Coli is a rod-shaped bacteria found in the lower intestines of warm-blooded creatures. Most strains of E. Coli are harmless, but serotype O157:H7 can pose serious threats to health, especially if they spread outside the intestines. It can cause food poisoning, urinary tract infection, intestinal inflammation, acute bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, intra-abdominal infections, diarrhea, and many others.

Yes, pests are nasty, dirty, and gruesome, but it’s entirely up to us whether they continue to invade our homes or not. Clean the house inside and out. Use effective but safe cleaners like Clean by Peroxy. Get rid of stagnant water. Install screen doors and windows. Grow bug-repellant plants. Throw garbage properly. Keep food in sealed in containers. Limit dining areas. The fact that we don’t like pests in our homes clearly means we should do our jobs in preventing them from entering our turf.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Public Domain PhotosCreative Commons License photo credit: jmlawlorCreative Commons License photo credit: derekkeatsCreative Commons License photo credit: bclinesmithCreative Commons License photo credit: Tarek_Mahmud (Need a Pro Account)Creative Commons License photo credit: dullhunk

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