When the word ‘pest’ is mentioned, the first few things that probably come into your mind are the myriad of creepy crawlies that you have seen or dealt with at some point in your life. Insects like termites, mosquitoes, flies, spiders, and more are associated most with the term. However, unconventional animal pests do exist and you would do well to know about them to give you a more comprehensive definition of what a pest is.
Pests are not strictly limited to the common household creatures you may have seen before. By definition, a pest is any animal or insect that causes harm, destruction, or any other sort of detriment to human life and endeavor. This means it goes beyond the household setting and can be experienced as long as there is human activity involved. That being said, here are three animals that you probably didn’t know were pests.
The Maya bird, or the Eurasian tree sparrow, is one of the most common birds one can find in the Philippines. While it was hailed as the national bird before being replaced by the Philippine eagle, the Maya bird is also considered to be a pest by many farmers. The reason for this is that these small but terrible birds eat or suck the fluids in rice crops, specifically the young or otherwise immature plants. This prevents them from producing usable grains of rice that can be used for human consumption.
Aside from that, Maya birds often come in large groups which means bad news for rice fields that they choose to feed on and it doesn’t stop there. Rice storage facilities and warehouses are also vulnerable to being attacked by Maya birds, especially if there are many entry points available. They will peck sacks of grain to get and often cause spillages and other unwanted problems. To top it all off, Maya birds are also hosts to lice and mites that are also pests to humans, which makes them all the more problematic. These small birds are second or third after rodents and grasshoppers, in terms of being rice pests.
While many Filipinos refer to this animal pest as a ‘bullfrog’, you should be wary of cane toads because they can potentially cause harm to anyone that they come into contact with. Cane toads are known for their toxic skin that contains chemicals that are dangerous to both animals and humans alike. Beyond their potentially deadly effects, the Cane toad is also an invasive species. This means that they invade areas that they are not native to and reproduce at an alarmingly fast rate.
Putting both qualities together, an area that is infested with cane toads would mean a negative impact on different levels of the ecosystem. The population of various animal species tends to go down when Cane toads are present, and this will inadvertently affect humans.
If you thought that aquatic animal pests didn’t exist, then you might have to think again because janitor fish are notorious for disrupting human life, especially in the Philippines. The janitor fish is an invasive species that is an adverse competitor of indigenous fishes that many fishermen use as sources of food, livelihood, or both. On top of that, janitor fish aren’t particularly delectable or edible at all because they are bony and have been observed to have high levels of mercury in their body. Not only do they cause harm to the ecosystem, but there is little-to-no upside in catching them whether for food or as pets.
If they aren’t competing with other fish for food, they are destroying fishnets, pens, and cages. Riverbanks also end up showing signs of damage when janitor fish are present. Needless to say, these pesky marine pests are a nuisance to people and can be particularly frustrating to deal with.
If you aren’t already convinced, pests can come in different forms and affect human life through different means. Unconventional animal pests like the ones mentioned above may be unusual to you, but their presence is certainly felt by many others beyond the household setting. If you are dealing with such infestations and pest-related problems, contact your local pest control provider because they are knowledgeable and well-equipped to help you out.