Non-target Organisms

Organisms that are not intentionally targeted by a pest management strategy

Pest management strategies always target specific unwanted organisms. These may be plants (weeds) or animals, but most pests are are insects (pests).

Ideal pest management strategies spare non-target organisms. This way, beneficial organisms are left unharmed.

When new pesticides are evaluated, their impacts on non-target organisms are taken into consideration. A similar evaluation takes place for genetically modified, insect resistant plants. Bt protein in transgenic plants targets the corn borer or the corn rootworm, and it must be insured that other organisms such as butterflies, beetles, spiders, and cicadas are left unharmed.