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The term “ pest ” is a collective name for organisms that diminish the economic success of humans, be it as destroyers of cultivated plants , as food competitors or through the destruction of buildings .

The term "pest" was first used in the German-speaking area around 1880 for phylloxera . Animals, especially insects, are generally referred to as pests. Fungi, viruses and bacteria, on the other hand, are grouped together under the terms pathogens or pathogens .

In the past, the term acquired a transposed meaning with the expression “ pest of the people ” through Nazi propaganda , with which people were devalued to the level of harmful animals.

Malware programs for computers are also called computer malware .


The pests include:

Agricultural pests

Fruits of a plum tree with plum moth infestation (one week after flowering)

Forest pests

Storage pests

Eating damage by mice
Rat as a pest

Wood pests

Further material pests

Individual evidence

  1. Lukas Straumann: Useful pests . Chronos Verlag, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-0340-0695-0 , p. 326.
  2. Wolfram Scheiding, Peter Grabes, Tilo Haustein, Vera Haustein, Norbert Nieke, Harald Urban, Björn Weiß Wood preservation: wood science - fungi and insects - constructive and chemical measures - technical rules - practical knowledge, Carl Hanser Verlag GmbH Co KG 2016 - 296 pages, ISBN 978-3-446-44844-5 , p. 160
  3. Paths and nests created by ants in wood and insulation boards


  • Sarah Jansen: "Pest": History of a Scientific and Political Construct, 1840–1920 . Frankfurt / Main 2004, ISBN 3-593-36307-0 .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Pest  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikiquote: Pest  Quotes