GC: n

S: (last access: 3 March 2020); WHO – (last access: 3 March 2020).

N:1. pest (n.): 1550s (in imprecations, “a pest upon ,” etc.), “plague, pestilence,” from Middle French peste (1530s), from Latin pestis “deadly contagious disease; a curse, bane,” of uncertain origin. Meaning “noxious or troublesome person or thing” first recorded c.1600.
2. A plague is any organism judged as a threat to human beings or to their interests. When early man hunted animals and foraged for food, he shared the natural resources with other organisms in the community. As human culture developed and population rose, people made ever-increasing demands on these resources. One result of changing the environment has been a great increase in the number of species that are now recognized as competitors of humans. These competitors are usually referred to as pests. The definition of pest is, of course, subjective. An ecologist would not necessarily consider several leaf-eating caterpillars on a plant as pests, whereas a gardener who cultivated the plant might very well do so. And only one bat, rat, or mouse is enough to qualify as a household pest.
3. As we have mentioned before it’s important to take into account the problems that usually occur when translating this term into Spanish, because there is a “crossed translation” between “plague” and “pest”. “Pest” is translated as plaga and “plague” as peste, referring to the “bubonic plague”.
4. Collocations:

  • Adj.: common | serious | agricultural, crop, garden, plant | insect | sex (in newspapers) Police are looking for a sex pest who is frightening late-night travellers.
  • Verb + pest: control, eradicate These birds provide a useful function in controlling insect pests.
  • Pest + noun: control, controller, management | population.

S: 1. (last access: 4 September 2014). 2. EncBrit. 3. NAVARRO; FCB. 4. (last access: 9 June 2015).


CR: fungicide, pesticide, plague.