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As pests animals are called, which no pests in the sense of the term are, their presence is however disturbing. Nuisances are not directly dangerous or harmful to humans, but are disgusting or frightening by sight or smell, or by their behavior. The term is used, for example, for smaller invertebrates such as insects and arachnids (including mites ), but also other animals that like to be in the immediate vicinity of humans ( cultural followers ) or ubiquitous animals, especially when they are very numerous (examples: Asian Ladybug , birch bug ). Many pests can turn into pests if they occur excessively, for example as germ carriers in hygienically critical situations. This also applies to structural damage or harvest losses - harvest thieves only become pests in masses (see damage threshold ), a cherry tree in an allotment garden can already be devoured by a few blackbirds, which are beneficial insects in themselves. The boundaries between " beneficial - annoying - pest" are fluid depending on the situation.

Typical pests are wood lice , silverfish , various flies (such as house flies or fruit flies ), earwigs and wasps (when foraging and building nests they can easily become building pests ), spiders of all kinds (especially those whose webs do not cause any real damage, but are annoying Pollution), ants (but may be food pests indoors ). Many people also regard vertebrate species as pests , for example bats or city ​​pigeons (which can also be building pests in large numbers through excretion of faeces), or waterfowl such as mallards (which can also become pests in bathing waters because of the cercaria problem). This also includes animals such as the stone marten that scot their territories, or those that cause disorder in the domestic area, such as dormice and, to an enormous extent, raccoons (can also become food pests or damage building services and cars). Among the nuisance flies can also crickets and other Zirper by their noise count, as are other animals with disturbing, ortsunüblichen vocalizations. The use of the term also for domestic animals , such as extreme territorial screamers such as roosters or peacocks in non-agricultural areas, is controversial and generally not common.

In agriculture, bloodsuckers such as horseflies and mosquitoes are pests of farm animals and pets, but others, including humans, count them as pests - from the point of view of the health authorities, this is also widespread in German schools and kindergartens (according to the Infection Protection Act reportable) head lice “only” a pest because, at least in Central Europe, they usually do not transmit any diseases. In humans, omnipresent and unnoticeable animals as allergy triggers can also become harmful to health, such as house dust mites , but because they go unnoticed and therefore never annoying, they are in no way a nuisance. Even " vermin " species, which cause anxiety disorders such as arachnophobia in some people , are not annoying by this alone.


  • Jörg Hess, Anna Hess; Regula Hess (illustrator): Secret lodgers, of all kinds of animals between basement and roof , 4th edition, Reinhardt, Basel / Kassel 1993, ISBN 3-7245-0795-X .
  • Birgit Mehlhorn, Heinz Mehlhorn: Ticks, mites, flies, cockroaches: check the vermin . Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg / New York, NY / London / Paris / Tokyo / Hong Kong / Barcelona / Budapest 1992, p. 167 ff. ISBN 978-3-540-55348-9 .
  • Christel Sachs, Jutta Koop, Henning Studte (illustrator, caricatures): Uninvited house guests: Preventing vermin and combating them in an environmentally friendly manner , Sachs, Rossdorf 1994, ISBN 3-928294-00-8 .

Individual evidence

  1. Annoyance - What is it? Ecological Pest Control Association, accessed April 30, 2015
  2. ^ Annoyance . Keyword in Duden online, accessed on April 30, 2015
  3. For example, the wording of § 4 definition of terms, line 43 pests of the Styrian building law .
  4. Pests and pests. Pages of the public health service (ÖGD) of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, accessed on April 30, 2015.
  5. a b Lit. Mehlhorn, Mehlhorn, 2013, p. 167 ff. ( Limited preview in the Google book search).
  6. cf. Beneficial or pest: which animal in the garden is useful and which is not?
  7. cf. Means to repel flies, horseflies, mosquitoes and other pests in animals. (Patent DE 202011005265)
  8. Hermann Feldmeier (2006): Pediculosis capitis, the most important parasitosis in childhood. In: Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. 4/2006, pp. 249-259