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Are Most Insects Pests?

Are Most Insects Pests?

With so much discussion of pest species in the news, on television, or in online blogs (guilty!), it may make you wonder if all (or at least most) insects are pests. The answer? No! In fact, not even close. 

Insects are some of the most diverse organisms on Earth. So far, about a million insect species have already been described, but some estimate that there are still millions more to be discovered. The percentage of those that are pests? Less than one percent! 

If such a small percentage of insects are pests, why do we focus so much on this group? Just because a small percentage of insects qualify as pests does not mean that the effects of these insects are small. A million people die each year from malaria . . . and that is only one example of a disease vectored by insects. Agricultural pests cause farmers to lose their crops. Termites cause billions of dollars of structural damage each year. Insect pests are serious! 

What about the other 99%? Those non-pest species are important to their ecosystems. Many insects are critical components of the diets of larger organisms. Some are predatory and serve to keep the population numbers of other species in check. Some keep waters clean by consuming organic debris. Others recycle organic matter and keep soils rich for plants. Some may even be beneficial to humans, such as honey bees. 

Even though most insect species are not pests, those that are may cause disease or other harm . . . including many of those that are found in the home. If you are worried about insect pests in your Raleigh home, call Innovative Pest Solutions for an inspection and treatment plan.