Agriculture Corner

Differences between Insect and Pest


There is a confusion exists between insects and pests. Some people consider these both as same because of many similarities. However, in realty, there exists a clear demarcation between the two and there are several differences between insect and pest. This article will guide the entomology students, learners and knowledge seekers about the marked differences between insect and pest. Before going further, let us concentrate first on the definition of an insect and pest.

Definition of Insect

The word insect is derived from a Latin word “insectum” which means cut into sections. It is a class of invertebrates within the Arthropoda phylum that have exoskeleton in their bodies. The body of an insect is divided into three distinct parts or regions. These are the head region, throat region and the abdomen. Furthermore, insects have three pairs of legs (three legs on each side of the body). The eyes are of compound nature. In the head region, there exists a pair of antennae.

Definition of Pest

A pest may be defined as any organism that harms or causes damage to humans and plants directly or indirectly. These include rodents, insects and mites. All insects are not harmful but all pests are harmful to living organisms. These include includes insects, mites, ticks, birds, nematodes, mammals and plants. On the other hand, invertebrate pests include parasites like bed bugs, lice etc. and disease transmitting agents like flies, mosquitoes, thrips etc. while damage causing agents includes the termites.

Major Differences between Insect and Pest

  1. All pests are harmful to human beings while some insects are important and beneficial.
  2. Killing agents use to kill pests are called pesticides while those agents use for killing insects are called insecticides.
  3. An interesting thing to note is that there are few insects that are pests at the larval stage. However, they become beneficial organisms at the adult stage like moths.

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, March 06). Differences between Insect and Pest[Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

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