Growers have been dealing with agricultural pests since farming began, over 11,000 years ago. Pests damage crops and reduce yield, cutting into a grower’s profit. With global food demands rising, growers are working harder than ever to sustainably produce healthy crops and meet these challenging demands. With the right management strategies, growers can help protect their crops from the negative impacts of agricultural pests.  

What are Agricultural Pests?

Pests aren’t just insects or rodents. Agricultural pests can include weeds, diseases, rodents, and plant-feeding insects and mites. According to Science Direct, these pests are estimated to destroy as much as one-third of all agricultural yield.  

The focus of this article will be on insect pests and diseases, as well as how to combat them.  

Types of Agricultural Pests

Insect pests are a universal threat that affect crops all over the world. Although insect species and crop types may vary between regions, the detrimental effects of crop damaging insects is universal. In agriculture, it is essential that growers understand the economic impact of an insect species on a crop and methods to prevent or mitigate significant populations.

Below are a few common insect pests that could be affecting your crops. 

Common Insect Pests: Grasshoppers, Japanese Beetles, True Bugs, Flea Beetles, Cutworm

Common Insect Pests 


Grasshoppers often pass through agricultural land in swarms. They are not picky eaters and will feed on almost any kind of plant, inflicting huge amounts of damage in a very short period of time. 

Japanese Beetles 

According to Insect Cop, Japanese Beetles were first introduced to the United States in the early 1900s and very quickly became a problem for growers. The larvae eat grass roots while the adults feed on leaves, flowers, and fruit. Unfortunately, they have few natural enemies, which makes them a tough pest to get rid of. 

True Bugs

True bugs are one of the most common agricultural pests, encompassing all insects of the Order Hemiptera. Some of these insects are more commonly known as cicadas, aphids, planthoppers, leafhoppers, and shield bugs. They damage using their piercing mouthpieces to penetrate into the plant and suck out its juices. True bugs are very small, but their rapid proliferation, and often small size, may go undetected and can cause severe damage to crops. Some of these pests may play as vectors in the spread of plant disease. 

Flea Beetles 

Flea beetles can cause significant reductions in plant stand and vigour of seedling canola and mustard crops. Flea beetles first attack the plants at their most vulnerable stage, between emergence and the growth of new leaves. This can impact the crop for the rest of the growing season. 


Cutworms are the larvae of several species of night-flying moths. They are a common pest of many vegetable crops, and are damaging during the larval stage where they reside in topsoil, cutting through plant stems and leaves. Occasionally, cutworms attack the foliage or fruit of some vegetable crops.