Both pests and parasites provide problems to humans, so it might be easy to confuse them both. But each will require different things to survive and cause different types of issues to humans, so the way you handle them will be different. To know the difference between pests and parasites, you can keep on reading. Below, more information on each one will be provided.
A parasite is a type of organism that lives on or in a host. It needs a host to live, grow, and reproduce. It can also spread diseases. There are three main types of parasites that affect humans:
Protozoa, which are single-celled organisms, can multiply in humans. Most are so tiny, that they can’t be seen by the naked eye.
Protozoa can be transmitted through contaminated food or water or person-to-person contact. Other than that, protozoa that reside in a human’s blood can spread through mosquito or sandfly bites.
Compared to protozoa, helminths are multicellular organisms and visible to the naked eye once they reach their adult phase. But the adult form of helminths can’t multiply in humans. Example of this human parasite is flatworms and roundworms.
An ectoparasite is an organism that can live outside the body of the host for long periods. Examples of these are ticks, fleas, lice, and mites.
Since parasites can spread diseases, it’s important to find out what parasites are prevalent in the area you live in, or plan to travel to. Always prioritize hygiene and only consume well-cooked food and clean water.
Parasitic infections can show various symptoms, including skin bumps, weight loss, increased appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and many more — so your doctor might run tests to diagnose if you have one.
A pest is an organism that can cause destruction, spread a disease, or is considered a nuisance — living and growing in places they are not wanted. Pests are usually insects or small animals that can be a threat to crops, food supplies, or property. They are considered threats in agriculture, domestic life, and establishments.
There are different types of pests:
Vertebrae pests are organisms that have a backbone. In homes, these are rats and mice. Outdoors and in agricultural settings, these are rabbits, birds, raccoons, and other animals that damage crops and property.
Invertebrae pests lack a backbone. In households, these are spiders, ticks, ants, termites, flies, bed bugs, cockroaches, and more. They can also be commonly be found in plants and crops — such as aphids and scales.
Other than these, weeds and plant diseases are also considered pests in agriculture. Weeds are plants that are growing out of place. If not managed properly, they can become a pest as they compete with crops for survival — because they also need water, nutrients, light, and space. Meanwhile, diseases can also damage crops.
Pests can also spread diseases. For instance, rodents can cause leptospirosis and rat-bite fever. Cockroaches can spread allergen inside a home and trigger asthma. Houseflies can carry bacteria in their body and transmit it to food and humans.
Pests are nuisances that can cause a multitude of issues for homes and businesses, so it’s important to be proactive even before an infestation. This can be done by integrating prevention techniques such as improving cleanliness, prioritizing hygiene, and reducing access of pests to properties.
Pests and parasites have similarities because both cause problems for humans. Both can spread diseases too. Parasites will depend on their host for survival, just like how pests cause damage to human food, crops, and properties to get what they need. Prevention of both also requires cleanliness, focus on hygiene, and the like.
With parasitic infections, treatment will involve medication and lifestyle changes. But with a pest infestation, you need to control the pest through various methods — whether it’s chemical, biological, electronic, or physical pest control.
Now that you know the difference between pests and parasites, you can prevent and handle them properly. If you have a problem with pests, you can contact us here at Topbest. From cockroaches, rodents, termites, and more — we can help you stop and prevent your infestation problems from happening again.