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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?

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