A new book asks: What makes humans call some animals pests?

Bethany Brookshire
Ecco, $28.99

We spend so much time making sure wildlife stays away from us, whether that’s setting traps, building fences or putting out poisons. Sure, unwanted guests are annoying. But why do we consider some animals “pests”? It’s all about perspective, says science journalist Bethany Brookshire. “We can put poison out for rats and protest their use as laboratory animals. We can shoot deer in the fall and show their adorable offspring to our children in the spring,” she writes in her new book, Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains.

Brookshire argues that we deem animals “pests” when we fear them (like snakes). Or when they

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