Created By: WiseMan23753May 9, 2013 Last Edited By: DAN004May 18, 2014
Troped

Pest Controller

(Someone with) an ability to command pests to do their bidding.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
DAN 004 was here takin over ur druft


When you think of Attack Animal, you'll probably think of something big and/or badass, such as wolves, or tigers, or even dragons. Some people, however, have a kick with using... a certain creepier kind of creature.

This trope is a Stock Superpower of pest manipulation (most common with insects, although rodents and arthropods and the like also counts here). The pest in question could be from little tiny life-eating bugs to more gigantic ones the size of buildings. Those who have this ability will often be portrayed as creepy themselves - they may be wicked, but they may just as often be just a decent, if quirky, fellow. Expect The Swarm and Zerg Rush to be their standard tactic.

Sometimes the controller doesn't only control insects but is also made of them, in which case this overlaps with The Worm That Walks. They may also be Friend To Bugs (especially for the insects version), but not always.

Subtrope of The Beastmaster and The Minion Master. Super Trope to Bee Bee Gun; bees are indeed among the most popular choice of insect, for many good reasons.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Get Backers has an entire race of this, the Kiryuudo race. They even have different "clans", where each clan control different type of bugs (one clan controls spiders, one clan controls butterflies, and so on). They're the Arch Enemy of the Maryuudo race, who controls more traditional beasts.
  • Lutecia Alpine from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S could control insects on muliple levels, even summon one as large as Kaiju monsters.
  • Shino and the Aburame clan from Naruto allows chakra bugs to live inside their bodies while giving them control over said bugs. They mainly used the bugs to subdue their opponent quickly by sucking their chakra off their body.
    • Another example is one of the Sound Four, Kidomaru, who can summon and control either a swarm of big spiders, or a Giant Spider.
  • The clone of Jean Henri Fabre in the Read Or Die OVA can control bees and other bugs. The giant grasshopper he rides is mechanical, but the smaller bugs seem to be normal, organic insects.
  • The Taoist Shiki in Black Cat uses multiple insect-related attacks, such as with moths, bees, and he can even ride on a giant dragonfly.
  • Friesia from Nanatsu No Taizai has the ability to control swarms of bugs.
  • The Godhand member Conrad from Berserk is capable of using plague carrying rats.

    Comic Books 

    Film 

    Literature 
  • In PC Hodgell's Chronicles Of The Kencyrath, a dozen or so of the students at Tentir, the military college, can "bind" animals. One (Gari) can control insects, another can control small rodents (mice and rats).
  • The The Pied Piperof Hamelin is renowned for his Magic Music to enthrall rats. So much so that many similar characters found in other works are usually homages to him.
  • Willard, in the original Ratmans Notebooks novel, the 1971 film entitled with his name, and the 2003 film remake, has a deep affinity for rats that he is able to command them to do his bidding. However, it is not total control as the rats tend to outright turn on him when they have a falling out with him.
  • In Thomas Disch's The Roaches the main character discovered that she possessed the ability to telepathically communicate with and command cockroaches. Let's just say that it turned out to be not so good of a thing in the end...
  • In one Homer Price story the town hires a pied piper type who uses a mechanical contraption to play the music in order to lead mice out of town. Homer and his friends decide to follow along and see what happens, but since Homer is Genre Savvy he has all the kids stuff cotton in their ears so they won't hear the music. Despite this, when the adults see the piper with a gaggle of kids following behind they fear the worst.

    Live Action TV 
  • Luna, the first Big Bad of the Chinese Pretty Cure Balala The Fairies, has the power to use insects, which come in handy in many tough problems.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Beezelbub is literally "Lord of the Flies" and is attributed the power to both summon and dismiss pestilence and disease.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE. There is a Kraata with the Insect Control ability. By extension, Makuta have this power as well.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the both the Old and New World Of Darkness game lines, many of the splats have powers that can allow them to control vermin. Vampires have the Animalism Discipline, werewolves and other shifters have Gifts, mages can use the Life Sphere, etc. Some of the splats even have a more intimate relationship with vermin, like the Nosferatu and Baali vampires, Ratkin wererats, Black Spiral Dancers werewolves, Fomors and Nephandi mages.

    Video Games 
  • Abaddon in Castlevania is usually a grasshopper looking humanoid who commands swarms of locusts.
  • Command And Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars has the Scrin, where the commanders can control some bug-like creatures such as Buzzers and Disintegrators.
  • Fallout 3 has the Antogonizer, a woman with a comic supervillain-themed costume and personality who can controls giant ants to "terrorize" the nearby town (although it's actually more of a series of show fights against her nemesis The Mechanic).
  • In Half Life 2, after killing the antlion queen, a vortigant extracts a gland which lets you control her spawn. You then invade Nova Prospekt backed up by a Horde Of Alien Locusts.
  • In Touhou, this is explicitly Wriggle Nightbug's ability. Somewhat justified, since Wriggle is a firefly youkai, and thus an insect herself.
  • The Tento Clan in Raidou Kuzunoha Vs King Abaddon are a Ninja clan summon gigantic insects for boss fights. Their preferred method of assassination is using tiny luck locusts to steal someone's luck which results in them being killed in an unfortunate accident.
  • Crypt Lords like Anub'Arak in Warcraft III are giant bugs who can summon carrion beetles from corpses and a swarm of angry locusts to attack their enemies.
  • Majoras Mask has Odalwa, the boss of the Woodfall Temple. Among his many abilities, he can summon swarms of moths and beetles to attack Link.
  • One of the more iconic abilities that Corvo from the game Dishonored can use is the ability to summon a swarm of rats to attack enemies.

    Web Original 
  • Worm is Web Serial Novel centred around Taylor, a teenager who can psychically command invertebrates, such as insects, arachnids, and crustaceans. She has lots of fine control over them, to the point where she can summon them unconsciously to aid her when under stress. Uses for the power include making a costume out of spider silk and threatening people with brown recluse spiders.

    Western Animation 
  • The Powerpuff Girls episode "Insect Inside". The villain Roach Coach can control an army of cockroaches. Played with since Roach Coach is revealed to be a roach himself, controlling a robotic suit made to look like a man (the episode title is a bit of a give-away). His ability to control roaches has less to do with being a superpower, and more to do with being a charismatic leader.
  • Xiaolin Showdown has the Sheng Gong Wu, the Tongue of Saping, which allows the user to talk to insects and somewhat control them. Sometimes, it can work too well...
  • Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated: The fake monster in "When The Cicada Calls" is able to control cicadas and is covered in a swarm as their disguise.
  • Ben 10 "Side Effects": While redeveloping a dilapidated residential area, the workers run afoul of Clancy, homeless man who can control bugs who taken up residence in one of the buildings to be demolished. When the building is destroyed in a fight with Ben, he vows revenge. He then tries to causie a nuclear meltdown, planning to survive the blast with an armor made of cockroaches. He is eventually defeated after being frozen by heatblast (who was turned An Ice Person due to a cold) and his control over insects was disrupted by Max's homemade medicine. He later shows up as part of the Negative 10, somehow becoming an insect-human hybrid.
  • The Rat King from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tends to be depicted as having control over rats in some adaptations. In the first cartoon, he is capable of doing so via a flute ala The Pied Piperof Hamelin. In the 2012 cartoon, he is able to do so psychically.
  • From an episode of Extreme Ghostbusters, there is the Piper, an homage to The Pied Piperof Hamelin, who is capable of controlling pesky ghosts via his music. Subverted however though since he is actually a ghost himself who was scamming people, and the pesky ghosts he was controlling were actually a part of him.
  • Confectioner Heinrich von Sugarbottom uses mind control juice injected via intelligent mosquitos to compel the local wildlife, including the visiting Chip And Dale Rescue Rangers, to transplant cacao trees closer to his Incan temple cum Secret Base in the CDRR episode "Chocolate Chips."
  • Batman Beyond has Patrick Poundstone aka Ratboy from the episode, "Rats", who can control the giant rats that live below Gotham He is a Stalker With A Crush to Dana Tan, Terry's Love Interest and kidnaps her. When she rebuffs him, he orders his rats to kill her but batman manages to save her. Other people were not so lucky.
Community Feedback Replies: 69
  • May 9, 2013
    Irrisia
    The clone of Jean Henri Fabre in the Read Or Die OVA can control bees and other bugs. The giant grasshopper he rides is mechanical, but the smaller bugs seem to be normal, organic insects.
  • May 9, 2013
    Astaroth
    How does this relate to Bee Bee Gun?
  • May 9, 2013
    Larkmarn
    How do we not have this?

    Needs a new name, though. My vote: Pest Controller.
  • May 9, 2013
    BOFH
    Film
    • In Phenomena, Jennifer Corvino has the power to control insects, and uses corpse flies to assist in a murder investigation.
  • May 9, 2013
    Irrisia
    I'd have thought Bee Bee Gun would have been a specific subtrope?

    If it is, then you can also take all the "Not bees BUT this guy controls insects" examples from that page and move them.
  • May 9, 2013
    Raconteur
    Ant-man can just almost be the trope codifer here.

    Enchanted has a minor example when Amy Adams' character has cockroaches (along with other urban animals) helping with chores.

    Oh, and I'm totally in favor of the name Pest Controller.
  • May 9, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    Bee Bee Gun does seem to be specifically about bees. The second-to-last paragraph mentions insect control as a "semi-common Stock Superpower", but that just cries out for a supertrope even more.

    Also, seconding Pest Controller.
  • May 9, 2013
    DracMonster
  • May 10, 2013
    Chernoskill
    Fallout3 has the Antogonizer, a woman with a comic supervillain-themed costume and personality who can controls giant ants to "terrorize" the nearby town (although it's actually more of a series of show fights against her nemesis The Mechanic).
  • May 10, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    Need to link to Big Creepy Crawlies somewhere. Also Sub Trope of The Beastmaster.

    • Get Backers has an entire race of this, the Kiryuudo race. They even have different "clans", where each clan control different type of bugs (one clan controls spiders, one clan controls butterflies, and so on). They're the Arch Enemy of the Maryuudo race, who controls more traditional beasts.
    • In Touhou, this is explicitly Wriggle Nightbug's ability. Somewhat justified, since Wriggle is a firefly youkai, and thus an insect herself.
  • May 10, 2013
    DracMonster
    • In Half Life 2, after killing the antlion queen, a vortigant extracts a gland which lets you control her spawn. You then invade Nova Prospekt backed up by a Horde Of Alien Locusts.
  • May 10, 2013
    WackyMeetsPractical
    The Powerpuff Girls: The villain Roach Coach can control an army of cockroaches. Played with since Roach Coach is revealed to be a roach himself, controlling a robotic suit made to look like a man. His ability to control roaches has less to do with being a superpower, and more to do with being a charismatic leader.
  • May 10, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • Abaddon in Castlevania is usually a grasshopper looking humanoid who commands swarms of locusts.
  • May 10, 2013
    KZN02
    BIONICLE: there is a Kraata with the Insect Control ability. By extension, Makuta have this power as well.
  • May 10, 2013
    DunDun
  • August 13, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Sometimes the controller doesn't only control insects but is also made of them, in which case this overlaps with The Worm That Walks.
  • August 13, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • The Tento Clan in Raidou Kuzunoha Vs King Abaddon are a Ninja clan summon gigantic insects for boss fights. Their preferred method of assassination is using tiny luck locusts to steal someone's luck which results in them being killed in an unfortunate accident.
  • August 18, 2013
    Nithael
    • Crypt Lords like Anub'Arak in Warcraft III are giant bugs who can summon carrion beetles from corpses and a swarm of angry locusts to attack their enemies.
    • One of the fake monsters in Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated is able to control a swarm of cicadas.

  • August 18, 2013
    DAN004
    • Another from Naruto is one of the Sound Four, Kidomaru, who can summon and control either a swarm of big spiders, or a Giant Spider.
  • August 18, 2013
    Alucard
    The Taoist Shiki in Black Cat uses multiple insect-related attacks, such as with moths, bees, and he can even ride on a giant dragonfly.
  • August 18, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Fixed a Red Link.

    EDIT: Namespaced a couple examples plus did some formatting.
  • August 18, 2013
    Madrugada
    In PC Hodgell's Chronicles Of The Kencyrath, a dozen or so of the students at Tentir, the military college, can "bind" animals. One (Gari) can control insects, another can control small rodents (mice and rats).

    (I'll have to grab the book to get the details.)
  • August 19, 2013
    Arivne
  • September 17, 2013
    Alucard
    Sub-trope of The Minion Master.
  • September 18, 2013
    Snicka
    The title is somewhat confusing in my opinion... Pest Controller sounds like someone who does pest control (i.e. kills bugs).
  • September 18, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    Also a subtrope of the The Beastmaster.
  • September 18, 2013
    MiinU

    Film

    Video games

    • Majora's Mask has Odalwa, the boss of the Woodfall Temple. Among his many abilities, he can summon swarms of moths and beetles to attack Link.
  • September 18, 2013
    Bisected8
  • September 18, 2013
    Alucard
    ^^^^ Really? I actually find it kind of clever.

    How about something using the word "bug" or "insect?" Would it be bad to name it after one species of insect?
  • September 18, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^^^^ I have to agree with Snicka about the possibility of confusion with mundane pest control.

    Since this is about the power rather than the person using it:

    Insect Control? Bug Control?
  • September 18, 2013
    Alucard
    ^They don't feel snappy enough. Sure, catchy/witty titles aren't paramount, but they're nice to have.

    I'd also like to add that The Beastmaster should be counted as a sister trope.
  • September 19, 2013
    DAN004
    Then what, The Bugmaster? :P
  • September 19, 2013
    Alucard
    ^ I kind of like that, actually.

    This YKTTW is kind of old, so it's doubtful the sponsor is still watching it. Kind of hard to get their opinion on a new name with those circumstances.
  • September 19, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Since in the end the title is decided democratically, the OP:s opinion isn't really that important anyway.
  • September 20, 2013
    Snicka
    ^^^ Seconding The Bugmaster.
  • September 20, 2013
    ShanghaiSlave
    Pest Tamer or Pest Master? though i think Pest Controller is pretty clever.
  • September 20, 2013
    DAN004
    So... is this Up For Grabs yet? Any words from the OP?
  • September 20, 2013
    Bisected8
    I like Pest Controller too, for what it's worth.
  • May 12, 2014
    jormis29
    • One of Ant Man's secondary powers is a cybernetic helmet that allows him to communicate with and command insects.
    • Worm is Web Serial Novel centred around Taylor, a teenager with a superpower that lets her control bugs.
    • Ben 10 "Side Effects": While redeveloping a dilapidated residential area, the workers run afoul of Clancy, homeless man who can control bugs who taken up residence in one of the buildings to be demolished. When the building is destroyed in a fight with Ben, he vows revenge. He then tries to causie a nuclear meltdown, planning to survive the blast with an armor made of cockroaches.

  • May 12, 2014
    DAN004
    Remind me to grab this later...
  • May 13, 2014
    Arivne
  • May 13, 2014
    Elfkaiser
    Anime and Manga

  • May 13, 2014
    Elfkaiser
    Just throwing this out. A pest doesn't necessarily refer to bugs specifically. A pest can refer to a rat, an invasive toad species, a crow, or any kind of animal similar in nature.
  • May 13, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ one of the examples are about commanding rats, if it satisfied you.
  • May 13, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Pest controller Irwina Allen uses a mind control device to cause honeybees to abandon their hive and become Irwina's personal mooks in the Chip And Dale Rescue Rangers episode "Risky Beesness."
  • May 13, 2014
    xanderiskander
    ^^ Then you should rewrite the laconic and description to include pests besides insects. Since you're including them.
  • May 13, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ done.

    ^^ that definitely counts, but maybe you can put it in Bee Bee Gun.
  • May 13, 2014
    Elfkaiser
    Literature

    • The The Pied Piperof Hamelin is renowned for his Magic Music to enthrall rats. So much so that many similar characters found in other works are usually homages to him.
    • Willard, in the original Ratmans Notebooks novel, the 1971 film entitled with his name, and the 2003 film remake, has a deep affinity for rats that he is able to command them to do his bidding. However, it is not total control as the rats tend to outright turn on him when they have a falling out with him.

    Videogames

    • One of the more iconic abilities that Corvo from the game Dishonored can use is the ability to summon a swarm of rats to attack enemies.

    Western Animation

    Comics

    • Squirrel Girl has the uncanny ability to control squirrels. It is actually rather powerful since she has defeated many super powered beings with it, most notably Doctor Doom.

    Anime and Manga

    • The Godhand member Conrad from Berserk is capable of using plague carrying rats.
  • May 13, 2014
    Elfkaiser
    Film

    • Giselle from Enchanted has a singing voice that can summon animals to aid her in housework chores ala Snow White. In the beautiful animated land of Andalasia, these animals are the sweet forest animals. In the real world of New York, these animals are cockroaches, pigeons, flies and rats.
  • May 14, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ there's already an Enchan Ted example up there, but not sure if they're the same...
  • May 14, 2014
    Elfkaiser
    ^ Technically the same as Giselle is played by Amy Adams. The one on top focuses on the cockroaches specifically and probably was added when this trope was solely about controlling bugs rather than general vermin. Context and which fits the trope more I guess would be the deciding factor.
  • May 15, 2014
    Snicka
    ^ Or maybe combine the two into one.
  • May 15, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Doesn't matter, I already added Elfkaiser's.

    Any objections (or examples) before I launch?
  • May 15, 2014
    Snicka
    One further related trope:

    A character like this may be a Friend To Bugs.
  • May 15, 2014
    Elfkaiser
    May need more examples of rats and other types of vermin considering it was changed from controlling specifically bugs to pests in general. Other than that, I guess it looks okay.
  • May 15, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Confectioner Heinrich von Sugarbottom uses mind control juice injected via intelligent mosquitos to compel the local wildlife, including the visiting Chip And Dale Rescue Rangers, to transplant cacao trees closer to his Incan temple cum Secret Base in the CDRR episode "Chocolate Chips."
  • May 15, 2014
    jormis29
    • The Movement: Jayden Revell aka the Mouse showed a closeness with rodents even as a baby, his parents were once horrified to find him sleeping soundly in his crib with rats. As he grew older, his learned to talk and control rats and mice.

    (Maybe needs better wording)
  • May 15, 2014
    randomsurfer
    In Joes Apartment Joe talks his apartment's roaches into helping his girlfriend set up a community garden.
  • May 15, 2014
    DannyVElAcme
    • In the both the Old and New World Of Darkness game lines, many of the splats have powers that can allow them to control vermin. Vampires have the Animalism Discipline, werewolves and other shifters have Gifts, mages can use the Life Sphere, etc. Some of the splats even have a more intimate relationship with vermin, like the Nosferatu and Baali vampires, Ratkin wererats, Black Spiral Dancers werewolves, Fomors and Nephandi mages.
    • The Batman villain Ratcatcher, who trains and controls rats.
  • May 16, 2014
    jormis29
  • May 16, 2014
    DAN004
    What would be the indices?
  • May 16, 2014
    Paradisesnake
  • May 16, 2014
    jormis29
    ^^ Pet And Animal Companion Tropes, perhaps Invertebrate Index/Rodent Tropes since it is about controlling insects/rodents
  • May 16, 2014
    jormis29
    Another one for Naruto
    • The anime-only Search for the Bikochu filler arc had the Kamizuru clan. Rivals to the Aburame clan, they instead focused on the controlling bees and hornets.

  • May 16, 2014
    randomsurfer
    In one Homer Price story the town hires a pied piper type who uses a mechanical contraption to play the music in order to lead mice out of town. Homer and his friends decide to follow along and see what happens, but since Homer is Genre Savvy he has all the kids stuff cotton in their ears so they won't hear the music. Despite this, when the adults see the piper with a gaggle of kids following behind they fear the worst.
  • May 17, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ is it film or literature?
  • May 17, 2014
    Lumpenprole
    Religion: Beezelbub is literally "Lord of the Flies" and is attributed the power to both summon and dismiss pestilence and disease.
  • May 17, 2014
    randomsurfer
    ^^Sorry, literature.
  • May 18, 2014
    Snicka

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable