All Creatures Great and Small

Are pests really pests?

Is a pest always a pest just based on its identity? I would say no. Recently there was a wasp drowning in a water bowl outside. I went out, picked the wasp up and put it on a tree to dry off. My granddaughters asked me why it didn’t sting me. I told them I just saved her life and she knew that and had no reason to sting. If I squeezed her, she would have stung me. A few minutes later they pointed to a wolf spider on the side of the house. I picked the spider up but it jumped out of my hand and into the tall vegetation. They asked me why if didn’t bite me. I said because it didn’t feel threatened as I didn’t squeeze it. It just wanted to run away. Can wasps and spiders be pests? Of course, they can in some circumstances, but they aren’t always pests just based on their identity.

A couple of years ago someone sent me a bed bug in the mail to identify. The bed bug was alive when I got it. I couldn’t just kill it so I put it in a terrarium with some paper, so it could hide. Then I put my hand in there once a week, so it could eat. She would get on my hand and suck a little blood. It took about six minutes for each meal. At first, I had to find her in the terrarium and put her on my hand. After a half a dozen times, all I did was put my hand in the terrarium and she would come out, climb on my hand and have her meal. She lived about a year snd then died of natural causes, probably old age. This bed bug was never a pest and didn’t deserve the death sentence.

Recently I turned over a board and there was a black widow I have seen and picked up several times. She was always in the same place, so I know it was the same spider. This time when I turned over the board, I put my hand down next to her. She walked up on my hand and stood there for a few minutes (and posed) and then she got down and went back to her nest. She knew I wasn’t going to hurt her. I posted a photo of her on Facebook posing on my hand.  I certainly don’t recommend people handle these insects and spiders as I do.

What I am trying to say is that just because you see a certain bug, doesn’t mean it is a pest. If it is in your house, that could be a problem in some circumstances, but when they are outside, they are just trying to make a living like we are and if they are left alone, they won’t hurt you. There is no reason to spray pesticides all over the place and kill a lot of organisms. If you have children, you don’t want biting or stinging bugs in your house and near the house. If you have to deal with them, there are non-toxic methods of doing so. Pesticides are far more dangerous than spiders, wasps and bed bugs. You certainly don’t need any pesticides in your house during this COVID pandemic as they can compromise  your immune system. 

You can treat your own pests safely and effectively and I will send you handbooks on how to do that if you join my bug club.  If you have any pest questions or you want to join my bug club, you can contact me at

About askthebugman

I have been in the pest management industry for over 40 years. In that time I have used almost every pesticide available to control so-called “pests”. With this experience, I have learned over the years that the pesticides we use are far more dangerous than the pests we are trying to control. As a result, it has become a passion for me to improve the quality of life for humans and the planet, by assisting people to not only become more educated and aware of their environment – but also by learning to manage their home and business with a sustainable and healthier approach to tending to unwanted infestations of bugs. Please enjoy my blog posts, check out my publications, utilize my services, or simply stay in touch if you have a bug question…


One thought on “Are pests really pests?

  1. im staying at an extended stay hotel i have red sores all over my body, in the beginning i had a bunch of bumps on my back and back legs and arms soon after. i can pull the things out with tweezer or needle. they are invisable red and black. the red and black white are on the sheets clothing.and the walls,, they go into the seems more,i may start bleeding all of a sudden on my leg arm or face ;they have caused scaring on my body.. the big .sores become sensitive and very sore,they seem to multiply in these sores. 3 doctors have said they dont know what it is. they aee three more people living here with the same symptoms now, i need help a can send a swath of clothing to be to be tested. where do i send it..please help

    Posted by george howard | December 21, 2020, 11:08 am

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