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A pest is any living organism (plant or animal) which can cause damage to cultivated crops, farm animals and humans.

Classification of animal pests

Animal pest can be classified as

  1. Insect Pest- Insect pest are animals without backbones and they belong to the group of animals called Arthropods. Arthropods is a very large group of animals which, in addition to insects, include crabs, shrimps, millipedes, spiders, centipedes and scorpions, mites etc.
  2. Non-insect pest- These are animals such as vertebrates like nematodes, snails, slug’s e.t.c. and vertebrates like rats, squirrels, monkeys, glasscutters, birds, jackals that can cause damage to crop.


Classification of Insect Pests

Insect can be classified based on their mouth parts which are different in different insect groups.

  1. BitingandChewingPests: These insects possess a very hard biting jaws called mandibles, a second pair of jaws called maxillae, a flat upper lip called the labrum, and a lower lip known as the labium. The mandibles are used to bite off and chew parts of crops while the maxillae are used to push the parts of the crop into the mouth. Examples are grasshoppers, locusts, beetles and crickets, armyworms, termites, leaf worm, mantids etc.
  2. PiercingandSuckingPests: These insects have sharp needle-like mouth parts which can pierce into stems or fruits and seeds of crops and suck juices from them. Examples are mosquitoes, aphids, mealy-bugs, tsetse flies, white flies, cotton stainer, capsid etc.
  3. Boringinsects: these pests form holes into crops and live inside, feeding on the internal parts of the crop. Examples are bean beetle, stem borer, weevil etc


Nature of damage by insect pest

  1. Destruction of crop tissues.
  2. Stunted growth in crops and animals.
  3. Weakened crop plant.
  4. Pierced holes can be infested with harmful organism like fungi, bacteria and viruses
  5. Transfer of harmful organism from infected crop to the healthy one.
  6. It causes ill-health to man and livestock e.g sleeping sickness (tsetsefly), mange (mite), babesia (tick).



  1. What is a pest?
  2. Name two classes of animal pests.
  3. State two classes of insect-pests with two examples of each.
  4. Mention five possible damages done by pest.
  5. What is a pest?
  6. Mention two classes of animal pests.



  1. Insect pest are animals without backbones and they belong to the group of animals called A. Chordates B. Arachnids C. Arthropods D. Annelids.
  2. Possession of mandible and maxillae are special features of A. Piercing and sucking insect B. Biting and chewing insect B. Boring insect D. Piercing and chewing insect.
  3. These insects have sharp needle-like mouth parts which suck juices from crop plant except A. aphids, B. beetle C. mealy-bugs D.  tsetse flies.
  4. Non-insect pest include the following except A. mites B. snails C. shrimps slugs.
  5. Pierced holes of crop plant can be infested with the following except A.pest B. fungi C. bacteria viruses.



  1. What is a pest?
  2. Describe the types of insect pest.


See also






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