ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Insect or Pest?

Updated on June 12, 2014

As usual, while I was at home doing my chores, an irritating housefly flew in... ... Hmm... ...,Why is a house fly called house fly? Is it because it has been staying my house for quite sometimes and it has become part of my family. That's why it is a 'housefly' instead of a 'fly'.

Okay, back to my topic. I was really irritated by it and cursing and swearing at this stupid housefly. Suddenly, this question came across my mind. Hmm... ... So, is a fly a pest or an insect? I went to do a google search on the definition of insect and pest.

Insect: a small invertebrate animal with segmented body, 6 legs and usually wings.

Pest: a troublesome or destructive person, animal or thing. Which means that housefly can be classified as either one.

And if I am classified it as an insect, I think I am simply being very lenient to it. It also means that there is no different between fly and other types of insects like ants, butterfly (whatever insects you can think of)... ... Housefly is known as a pest since my grandmother's days.

Why is it a pest then?

It is often a carrier of diseases, such as typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery, and anthrax. The fly transmits diseases by carrying disease organisms onto food. It picks up disease organisms on its leg hairs or eats them and then regurgitates them onto food (in the process of liquefying solid food). I can't think of any contribution it brings to the nature. Hence, it is definitely belongs to the destructive side.

What about a caterpillar?

But to think about it again: In the list of insects, most of them are pests. Okay, let's look at the common insect that all of us know. A butterfly.

Before a butterfly metamorphosis, it is a caterpillar, right? Is it an insect or pest?

Can be both. Why do I say that? What does a caterpillar consume?

For all we know they consume leaves. They are known as "eating machines", and eat leaves voraciously. If there are only one to two caterpillars on the tree, the tree is rather safe. For a caterpillar to metamorphosis into a butterfly, it needs tremendous amounts of leaves to sustain in order to turn into a butterfly. Can you imagine how much damage it can caused if is a tree full of caterpillars just by eating leaves. The leaves are the main source of sunlight in take because of the chlorophyll underneath the leaves. The amount of damage can cause enormous losses. Hence, caterpillars have been the target of pest control through the use of pesticides, biological control and agronomic practices.

Is butterfly an insect or a pest?

Back to the beginning, is butterfly an insect or a pest?

I think it can just be classified as before it metamorphosis and after it has become a butterfly. Before it becomes a butterfly, it is a pest and after it metamorphosis into a butterfly, it is an insect. In fact, like many other winged insects, what butterflies do for the environment that is perhaps most important is pollinating plants. The diet of adult butterflies consists mostly of nectar from flowers. While gathering nectar, the butterflies pick up pollen on their feet and wings and transfer it to neighboring flowers and plants, continuing the life cycle of many plants that other animals depend on for survival.

Insect or pest?

We, human are very contradicting creatures. We named all living things around us and classified them accordingly.But somehow, when these little creatures start to interrupt our lives, we came out with other names to describe them such as 'pests'.

So now, if you see any insect again, maybe you would like to think whether is it an insect or a pest?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)