Individually, the harm they can give is just next to nothing, but once they attack by the thousands, they can create a kind of damage that would somehow make us think that the gods are punishing us. Which among the following pest species is the most destructive of all?
With a larvae that consumes the leaves of over 500 species of trees, shrubs and plants, Gypsy moths bring a wave of destruction whenever they thrive and populate. They can be found all across the northeastern United States, usually infesting hardwood trees. When grown as caterpillars, they are known to produce rashes similar to that of a poison ivy. It is listed as one of the 100 most destructive invasive species worldwide.
These elongated, predatory fish are distinguished by their long dorsal fins, large mouths, and shiny teeth. Fearsome in appearance as they are, they have been destroying local ecosystems in several countries. Due to their aggressive nature and rapid reproductive cycles, the snakeheads can even migrate across lands for just a few days, enabling them to establish and adapt to new habitats easily. Fortunately, they can be gathered as food source, but have become notorious as an intentional invasive species.
The species got its name from a striped pattern commonly seen on their shells. As mollusks that easily multiply in number, they disrupt the ecosystems, damage harbors and waterways, ships and boats, and water treatment facilities. Many water companies are reporting to have problems with their treatment plants as the mussel attach themselves to pipeworks. Physically, it is nowhere near from being frightening as it is only the size of a fingernail, but when gathered in great numbers, they can cause severe problems in people’s livelihoods.
Whiteflies of these category are a worldwide problem, they exist in every continent except in Antartica. In warm or tropical climates and especially in greenhouses, they inflict major problems in crop protection. Worldwide economic losses are estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars annually. They are absolutely devastating to plant life, carrying up to 100 different plant viruses in addition to hundreds of other plant species that it has a habit of destroying. Since whiteflies flock in unimaginably large numbers, susceptible plants can be quickly overwhelmed and incapacitated.
Asian Tiger Mosquito
The insect is called as such for its striped appearance, which resembles that of the common tiger. Originating in Asia, this mosquito is now one of the most widespread animal species on the planet. It has become a significant pest in many communities because of its close association with humans. Unlike other breeds which usually live in wetlands, and typically and feed in the daytime inasmuch as it does at dusk and dawn. In just two decades, it has spread to 28 separate countries, carrying many health and social problems along the way.
No human can ever fail to acknowledge bed bugs as the tiniest vampiric insects in existence. Thanks to widespread use of pesticides, there was a time when these blood-sucking bugs had been eradicated in some countries. However, international travelers and the banning and regulations of some pesticides made them increase in number again. This makes the current infestation even more difficult to handle. Bed bugs have been known as human parasites for thousands of years, and will most likely stay for many years to come.
It is declared as an invasive species primarily due to the toxicity of its skin, which kills many animals, both wild and domesticated. It is a prolific breeder with females lay single-clump spawns with thousands of eggs, which makes them very hard to neutralize. These huge toads were introduced to Australia and the Caribbean as a way to eat pests in sugar cane fields. Because of their huge appetite, these aggressive predators can eat everything else that comes their way as well, making them one of the worst invasive species in the world.
The Japanese beetle doesn’t do much damage in its Asian homeland, but once it got to some western countries, it acquired a taste for roses, crepe myrtles and countless other leaves. These insects are greedy in nature, they would never leave a plant unless it appears to be skeletal in appearance – they consume only the leaf material between the veins. They are very difficult to kill, and some methods used by people actually backfired on them, creating more damage and problems in addition to the ones they have triggered.
Asian Longhorned Beetle
As a native species from China, Japan and Korea, these beetles were accidentally introduced into the US just recently. They are known to cause tree devastation as their larvae dig their way between the bark and wood of the trunk, where their large numbers gradually destroy the tree. The only way to clear the infestation is to cut down and burn the tree. This makes it clear that any infestation of the Asian Longhorned Beetle can be a death sentence to any plant life it chooses to invade.
It is estimated that a typical desert locust consumes an amount of plant material equivalent to its body weight every day. This is a clear indication that they are among the greediest species this world has ever hosted. Plagues of desert locusts have threatened agricultural production in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia for centuries. They have been around even during the Biblical times and although they can never kill a human directly, they can still do the same by being one of the most notorious causes for hunger and starvation.
Which among these should be ranked as No. 1?