Pests can not only cause nuisances and allergic reactions and transmit a range of diseases, but they can also pose serious threat to other aspects of life such as the environment, food, agriculture, crops, etc. Over time, the pest control industry has made great progress but has encountered some new challenges and gaps.
To adapt to global changes effectively, pest management strategies are changing constantly. The concept has transitioned from integrated pest management (IPM) to sustainable pest management (SPM) to provide the optimal solution. China, as the world’s largest developing country, has continuously contributed innovative ideas to the pest management industry to promote sustainable development of pest management globally. This paper focuses on pests and their adverse impacts, especially in the health field, the challenges and gaps in pest management, the conceptual transition in pest management, and future perspectives.
Pests are organisms that damage human life, production, and even survival. They can cause significant losses in lives and property and also great loss in other fields such as agriculture, food, environment, and ultimately have a negative impact on people’s health and well-being. Pests can be roughly divided into seven categories based on their adverse impacts (Table 1).
No Category of pest Representative species Adverse effects Sources 1 Disease vectors Mosquitoes, sandflies, triatomine bugs, ticks, fleas, flies (various species), aquatic snails, lice, mites, midges, rodent, etc. · Globally:
· 80% of the world’s population is at risk of one or more vector-borne diseases (VBDs).
· 17% of the global burden of communicable diseases is due to VBDs.
· Over 700,000 deaths are caused by VBDs annually.
· 10 notifiable VBDs, 10 non-notifiable and common VBDs, and several other kinds of other NTDs or emerging VBDs.
· In 2019, 13 indigenous dengue transmission provincial-level administrative divisions (PLADs), and more than 0.9 billion people are at the risk of dengue.
· Imported malaria from Africa and Southeast Asia pose a challenge to the elimination of malaria in China by 2020.
· Adult epidemic encephalitis B outbreak in the provinces of Northwest China in recent years.
 Global vector control response (GVCR) 2017–2030.
 Qiyong Liu, 2020.
2 Exotic invasive pests Solenopsis invicta Buren, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, ragweed, water hyacinth, etc. · Solenopsis invicta Buren:
· One of the 100 most destructive invasive pests in the world, this pest poses a great threat to biodiversity protection and agricultural production.
· As of 2012, more than 100 million acres of land in 12 south states of the United States had been infested, with an estimated annual economic loss of more than 5 billion USD and over $750 million in agricultural losses.
· In 2013, detected in 169 counties (cities and districts) of 7 PLADs.
· Bursaphelenchus xylophilus:
· Occurs in Japan, Republic of Korea, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Portugal, China, and other countries and causes significant loss.
· After an invasion to Hong Kong in the 1980s, the Pinus massoniana was almost destroyed by this pest.
· The economic losses caused by Bursaphelenchus xylophilus disease in Anhui and Zhejiang provinces are up to 70.18–98.26 million USD.
3 Architecture and building material pests Termites, wood-boring beetles, Monochamus, Sinoxylon, Lyctus, Trogoderma, etc. · Termites:
· More than 3,000 species in the world and known as “silent destroyers” because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring, and even wallpaper undetected.
· The direct economic loss caused by termites reach up to tens of billions USD every year.
· More than 70 species that can damage architecture and housing materials.
· The economic loss caused by termites to housing construction is close to $1.0 billion every year.
4 Warehouse pests Flour beetles, grain borers, corn weevil, rice weevil, corn beetle, wheat moth, Tribolium castaneum, etc. · Globally:
· More than 300 species, causing direct weight loss, quality loss and mildew.
· More than 50 species, causing about 8%–10% of the total reserves in grain, beans and oil-bearing crops by warehouse pests.
· Corn weevil ranking first in warehouse pests in China.
 Jianguo Xu, 2018
5 Textile pests Carpet beetles, moth, etc. · Globally and China:
· Causing huge losses in the production and storage of commercial fabrics and clothing.
6 Agricultural and forestry pests Locusts, aphids, etc. · Globally:
· Agricultural pests:
· Up to 40% of food crops destroyed by plant diseases and pests every year.
· About 300 species are harmful to agriculture, forestry, and animal husbandry.
· The annual area of locust disasters amounting 46.8 million square kilometers, and one eighth of the world's population is affected by locust disasters.
· The most serious locust is Schistocerca grigaria, with a maximum diffusion area of 28 million square kilometers, including whole territories and partial areas of 66 countries, accounting for about 20% of the world's land area and more than 10% of the world's population.
· One of the most destructive pests on earth.
· About 250 species harmful to agriculture, forestry and horticulture.
· Forest pests:
· The area of forest affected by pests every year reaching 34 million hectares, accounting for 1.6% of the forest area of 94 reporting countries.
· Agricultural pest:
· The severest locust disaster in a year in China causing nearly 0.20 million square kilometers crop loss, with an average of 0.10 million square kilometers and an average annual loss of 0.25 billion USD, posing a serious threat to food production and ecological security of grassland areas.
· In 2008, Heilongjiang suffered from Loxostege stieticatis damage, with a disaster area of more than 2.867 million hectares.
· In 2004, Jiangxi suffered rice diseases and insect pests, with a total loss of 1.7 billion kg of grain.
· Forest pests
· The annual average occurrence area of forest pests in China amounted to 120 thousand square kilometers, and the annual average economic loss reached 15.46 billion USD.
 FAO, 2010
 National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA), China, 2019
 Jianguo Xu, 2018
7 Animal husbandry pests Ticks, tabanus, etc. · Globally:
· Tick-borne diseases (TBD) constraining cattle production and improvement in Tanzania, and the total annual national loss due TBD estimated to be 364 million USD, including an estimated mortality of 1.3 million cattle.
· Mite borne sheep scab costing the British sheep industry 9.76 million USD a year.
 Fredrick M Kivaria, 2006
 Busin V, 2018
Table 1. Pests and their adverse effects.
On the basis of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report, 80% of the world’s population is at risk of one or more vector-borne diseases (VBDs), and 17% of the global burden of communicable diseases and over 700,000 deaths are due to VBDs. Malaria causes an estimated 219 million cases globally and results in more than 400,000 deaths every year. More than 3.9 billion people in over 129 countries are at risk of contracting dengue with an estimated 40,000 deaths every year. More over, there are other VBDs including mosquito-borne diseases such as Chikungunya fever, Zika virus infection, yellow fever, West Nile fever, and Japanese encephalitis as well as tick-borne encephalitis. Of note, some VBDs such as Chagas disease (transmitted by triatomine bugs), leishmaniasis (sandflies) and schistosomiasis (snails) affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
In China, vectors transmit 10 notifiable VBDs in 3 categories [category A: plague; category B: hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS), epidemic encephalitis B, dengue, leptospirosis, schistosomiasis, and malaria; and category C: epidemic and endemic typhus, visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar), and filariasis], 10 non-notifiable and common VBDs (tick-borne forest encephalitis), Xinjiang hemorrhagic fever, Lyme disease, bartonellosis, Zika virus infection, human ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, Tsutsugamushi disease, Chikungunya, severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS), and many other kinds of NTDs or emerging VBDs.
For the adverse impacts of pests in other fields, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that up to 40% of food crops are destroyed by plant diseases and pests every year. This has resulted in food shortages for millions of people and has caused negative impacts on the main sources of income for poor rural communities by resulting in production and trade losses. In recent years, China’s grain production has been reduced by about 40 million tons annually due to pests, which can supply the annual grain consumption of about 80 million people or about 5.3% of China's total population.
Pest can also cause serious losses in animal husbandry. Through biting, Tabanus horseflies can directly reduce the body weight of cattle by 0.1–1 kg per day and lead to the reductions in production resulting in huge economic losses. Ticks can spread babesiosis, and theileriosis (East Coast feeder) among livestock causing significant economic losses. In 1999, the animal husbandry losses caused by ticks in Tanzania reached 55 million US dollars.
Based on the FAO’s report in 2010, nearly 40 million hectares of forest were affected by plant diseases and insect pests every year. In recent years, the annual average occurrence area of forest pests in China is 120 thousand square kilometers, and the annual average economic loss is 15.45 billion USD.