This single volume describes the animals that are most injurious and costly to humans, examining the important roles of these pests throughout history and the implications of the never-ending wars we wage against the natural world.
Common houseflies often carry over 100 different pathogens. A swarm of one billion locusts consumes over 2,000 tons of food every day. In some parts of the United States, the invasion of the boll weevil beetle had a destructive effect on society second only to the Civil War. Even the smallest insects can create huge problems for mankind.
From mosquitoes to nematodes to mice, there are a multitude of organisms and animals that pose major health risks, cause economic burdens, and even threaten famine conditions for human civilization. Addressing these problems is often extremely costly and only partially effective.
Pests: A Guide to the World's Most Maligned, Yet Misunderstood Creatures presents an overview of the animals that have the greatest impact on our lives, from the creatures that eat our crops through the ones that invade our homes and those that transmit diseases. Each entry provides a brief history of our interactions with the specific pest, methods of management or eradication for the pest being discussed, and an extensive Further Reading list that includes resources on both the biology of the pest and methods of control. The author explains the complexity of the worldwide pest problem and demonstrates how some of these issues are a result of human over-population and shortsightedness, inviting readers to consider our place in nature and how other animals have adapted to and benefited from the growing human population.
• Includes more than 60 photographs of the pests in question as well as illustrations that highlight topics discussed throughout the book
• Contains more than 50 sidebars that provide greater detail and showcase the role pests play in history and current events to promote critical thinking
• A substantial bibliography provides readers with starting points for further reading
• A glossary defines specialist terminology
• Explores the place of humans in nature and examines how we often live in direct conflict with the natural world
• Provides information on the human and livestock toll of these pests as well as their economic burden on society
• Serves as an entertaining reference for the general reader and a research starting point for those seeking information on the identification and management of specific pests