Pest Glossary


Active Ingredient

Key component in pesticides for pest control, responsible for pesticidal properties.


Winged reproductive forms of social insects like termites and ants, emerging from colonies during swarming events to establish new colonies. Pest control measures are used to prevent infestations and structural damage.


Immune reactions to pest-related allergens, ranging from mild to severe symptoms. Proper pest management essential for allergy prevention.


Small sap-sucking insects that damage plants and attract sooty mold. Control with insecticidal soaps or natural predators like ladybugs.


The act of administering pesticides or other substances to manage pests or control vegetation, ensuring proper dosage and technique for effective results.


Body structure aiding movement, feeding, and sensory functions in pests.


Joint-legged invertebrate animals, including spiders, ticks, and scorpions.


Mammals known for their armored shells. They are not typically considered pests but can cause damage to lawns and gardens while foraging.

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes

Known for their distinctive black and white striped legs, these mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters and potential carriers of various diseases.

Asian Cockroaches

Similar to the German cockroach, these are light brown and known for their ability to fly, often attracted to lights at night.


A respiratory condition exacerbated by allergens from pests or pesticide exposure, leading to breathing difficulties.


Barrier Treatment

Applying pesticides around a building to prevent pest entry.


Mammals that can inhabit buildings and are important for the ecosystem. They can become pests when they roost in human structures.


Used in pest control to attract and eliminate pests efficiently. A strategic approach targeting specific pests with minimal environmental impact.

Bait Station

A pest control device holding bait to attract and eliminate pests like rodents or insects safely, minimising risks to non-targets.

Black Widows

A species of venomous spider, identifiable by a red hourglass shape on its abdomen. They are dangerous and should be handled by professionals.

Boxelder Bug

Recognizable by their black and red markings, these bugs are commonly found on boxelder trees, feeding on leaves, flowers, and seed pods.

Bed Bugs

Small, reddish-brown insects that feed on human blood, often found in mattresses, bed frames, and furniture.

Beetle Fabric Pests

Includes various beetle species like carpet beetles, which damage fabrics, carpets, and stored clothing by feeding on them.

Brown Banded Cockroaches

These are identified by distinctive brown bands, infest buildings, particularly kitchens and bathrooms. Effective control involves sanitation, exclusion, and targeted insecticide application.


Carpenter ants

Large ants that excavate wood, causing structural damage. Control involves nest treatment and moisture elimination.


Sealing gaps to prevent pest entry into buildings.

Chemical Application

Applying pesticides for pest control or vegetation management.


Viral disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, causing high fever and severe joint pain.


Harmful substances or organisms introduced into the environment, often as a result of pest-related activities, posing health or environmental risks.

Cowboy Ants

Not a commonly known term, this may refer to a specific species of ants or could be a colloquial name for a type of ant.

Camel Crickets

Known for their humpbacked appearance, these crickets are often found in damp, dark environments like basements and crawl spaces.

Crane Flies

Also named mosquito hawks, are insects with long legs and delicate bodies.


Insects known for chirping sound, sometimes pests indoors seeking food or shelter.


Dengue fever

Mosquito-borne viral infection causing high fever and severe symptoms. Prevented by reducing mosquito breeding sites and using repellents.


Inactive state in pests during unfavorable conditions.


Accumulated organic or inorganic matter attracting pests.

Drain flies

Small insects found in moist areas like drains. Their presence may indicate unsanitary conditions, requiring preventive measures for control.

Dust Mites

Tiny arachnids found in indoor environments, feeding on skin flakes. They can worsen allergies and asthma. Control methods include vacuuming and washing bedding.



Recognizable by their pincers on the back of their abdomens, earwigs are nocturnal insects that feed on a variety of plants and insects.


Inflammation of the brain, often caused by viral infections transmitted by mosquitoes. Effective mosquito control essential for preventing the spread of encephalitis.


Sealing entry points to prevent pest access.


Hard outer body covering of pests like insects and arachnids, providing support and protection.


Fabric Pest

Small insects infesting natural fibers like wool and silk, causing damage to textiles. Moths and beetles are well known fabric pests. Preventive measures include cleaning and proper storage.

Fire Ants

Aggressive ants known for their painful stings. Their mounds can be damaging to lawns, and they pose a health risk to humans and pets.


Small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. They are common pests in homes with pets.

Flying Ants

The reproductive members of an ant colony, known for their wings. They are often mistaken for termites during their mating flights.

Flying Termites

Often mistaken for flying ants, they can be distinguished by their straight antennae, uniform waist, and equal-sized wings. They can cause significant structural damage.

Formosan Termites

A highly destructive termite species known for their large colonies and significant damage to wood structures.


The collective term for leaves of plants, providing food and habitat for pests.


Pests searching for food sources, leading to infestation risks.

Flying squirrels

A group of nocturnal rodents known for their ability to glide between trees using a membrane of skin called a patagium. They are adept climbers and can glide remarkable distances, making them fascinating creatures to observe in their natural habitats.


A pest control method involving the use of gas to eliminate pests in enclosed spaces, ensuring comprehensive pest eradication in structures such as buildings or shipping containers.


Microorganisms breaking down organic matter, including molds and mushrooms. In pest control, some fungi are used as biopesticides, while others can cause plant diseases or health issues.


The leaves of a plant, essential for photosynthesis and protection, contributing to the plant's appearance and overall health.


Giant Mosquitoes

Also known as crane flies, these large, mosquito-like insects are actually harmless and do not bite humans.

Grass Spider

Common in lawns and gardens, these spiders are known for their funnel-shaped webs and fast movement.


Pesticides in solid, granule form for outdoor application.

German Roach

A small species of cockroach, notorious for their rapid reproduction and resilience, often infesting kitchens and bathrooms.


Burrowing rodents causing damage to gardens and landscapes.


Habitat Modification

Altering the environment to make it less favourable for pests, reducing their access to food, water, and shelter.


Pest shelter or nesting sites targeted for elimination in pest control.


Winter dormancy in pests, reducing activity and metabolism.


Organism providing sustenance for pests, including plants or animals targeted for infestation or feeding.

Humane Trapping

A method of pest control that involves capturing pests in live traps and then releasing them unharmed in suitable habitats away from human dwellings or sensitive areas.


Indian Meal Moths

These pests infest stored food products, with larvae that spin silken webs in infested food items.


Eliminate or manage insect pests, safeguarding crops, structures, and public health through chemical or biological means.


Identifying pest activity and vulnerabilities for effective control.


Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a holistic approach to pest control that combines multiple strategies such as biological, cultural, mechanical, and chemical methods to effectively manage pests while minimising risks to human health and the environment.

Insect Growth Regulators

Chemical compounds that disrupt the growth and development of insect pests, preventing them from reaching reproductive maturity and effectively controlling their populations without harming beneficial insects or the environment.


Excessive presence of pests causing damage or health risks, requiring swift control measures.


June Bugs

Also known as May beetles, these are chunky, reddish-brown beetles that feed on plants and can be a nuisance to crops and gardens.


Kudzu Bugs

Small, invasive insects known for feeding on kudzu plants, but they can also damage other crops and plants.


Lady Bugs

Also known as ladybirds or lady beetles, these are beneficial insects that feed on aphids and other pests.


The immature, often worm-like stage in the life cycle of insects, undergoing growth and development before metamorphosing into adults.


Pest control agent specifically designed to target and eliminate immature stages of insects, such as larvae and pupae.

Lyme disease

Tick-borne illness caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, transmitted through infected blacklegged ticks. Early diagnosis and treatment crucial to prevent complications.



Life-threatening disease transmitted by infected Anopheles mosquitoes. Effective control measures include bed nets and antimalarial drugs.


Reproductive process involving union of male and female gametes, vital for pest population management.


Long, segmented insects with many legs. They are generally harmless but can become a nuisance if they enter homes in large numbers.

Mutant Mosquitoes

These are mosquitoes that are altered through genetic engineering, often to reduce their ability to transmit diseases

Moth Fly

Small, dark-colored flies, also known as drain flies, often found around drains, sewers, and decaying organic matter.


Small rodents with a pointed nose, rounded ears, and a long tail, known for their adaptability to various environments and rapid reproduction.


To lessen or reduce the severity, impact, or risk of something negative, such as pests or environmental hazards, through proactive measures, management strategies, or interventions.

Moth Flies

Also named Drain Flies, these are small insects with hairy bodies commonly found in moist environments like drains and sewage systems. While not harmful, their presence can indicate unsanitary conditions and may be a nuisance indoors. Preventive measures include maintaining cleanliness and fixing leaks.

Mosquito Reduction Program

Effort to decrease mosquito populations and prevent disease transmission.



Active during the night, common behavior in pests. Nighttime ideal for pest management observation and intervention.

Nuisance Weather

Conditions such as heavy rain or extreme temperatures that exacerbate pest problems or cause discomfort to humans.



Marsupials that are often considered pests when they rummage through garbage or invade homes for food.

Ornamental Plant

A plant cultivated for decorative purposes in gardens, landscapes, or indoor settings, providing habitat and food sources for pests.



Organism living on or inside another, used in pest control for population management.

Palmetto bugs

Large cockroaches found in warm, humid areas, posing a nuisance and potential health risk indoors.


Organisms that pose a threat or nuisance to humans, animals, crops, or structures, often causing damage, disease transmission, or discomfort, prompting the need for control or eradication measures.


Chemical or biological substances designed to control, repel, or eliminate pests such as insects, rodents, weeds, or fungi, used in agriculture, public health, and residential settings to protect crops, structures, and human health.


Fine powder produced by plants for reproductive purposes, sometimes inadvertently transported by pests like bees, contributing to plant pollination.


Chemicals emitted by organisms, notably insects, to communicate and influence behaviours such as mating and territory marking, often used in pest management for monitoring and disruption.


Commonly known as opossums in North America, are occasional pests known for scavenging food and sheltering in human structures.


Organisms that hunt and consume other organisms for food, aiding in pest control by reducing pest populations.


Organisms hunted and consumed by predators, including pests.




Medium-sized mammals with a distinctive black mask and ringed tail, often scavenging in urban areas and known for their intelligence.


Gardening tool used to gather and remove debris, reducing pest habitats.

Red Velvet Ants

Not true ants, these are wasps with a striking red and black velvet appearance and a painful sting.


Persistent effects of a pesticide remaining active after application, providing continued pest control over time.


Ability of organisms to withstand pesticides, necessitating alternative control methods.

Residual Treatment

Application of a pesticide with long-lasting effects, providing continued pest control after initial application.


Cockroaches are common household pests known for their resilience. They can spread germs and are difficult to eradicate.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Tick-borne bacterial infection causing fever, rash, and potentially severe complications if untreated. Prevented by avoiding tick habitats and using insect repellents.


This group includes rats and mice, which are common pests in homes and businesses, known for their gnawing habits and potential health risks.


Mammals with gnawing incisors, found in diverse habitats, can be pests or vital to ecosystems.



Arachnids that are generally beneficial as they consume other insects. Some species can be dangerous or a nuisance if they invade homes.


Small, silvery pests infesting homes, feeding on paper and textiles. Thrive in damp environments, requiring moisture control for management.

Swarming Termites

Swarming termites are a phase in the reproductive cycle of termites, where mature winged termites leave their colony to start new colonies.

Stink Bugs

Named for the unpleasant odor they release when disturbed or crushed, these bugs are pests to various crops and plants.


Tiny insects that thrive in moist environments, feeding on decaying vegetation, fungi, and mold.


Below-ground organisms or structures, like termites infesting soil or wood.

Sugarcane Beetles

These beetles are known for their hard shells and tendency to damage sugarcane, corn, and other crops by feeding on their roots.


Large groups of pests, like bees or ants, moving together for food, shelter, or mating.



Insects known for feeding on wood and causing significant structural damage to buildings.


Pests aggressively defending areas for feeding or breeding, requiring careful management to prevent conflicts and infestations.


Pesticide formulated to control termite populations by creating treated zones in soil or wood. Essential for protecting structures from termite damage, it provides long-lasting control when applied correctly.


Small arachnids that feed on the blood of animals, including humans, and can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Ticks found in wooded areas, tall grasses, and shrubs. Preventative measures, such as wearing protective clothing and using insect repellents, are essential for reducing the risk of tick bites and disease transmission.


Middle body segment of insects, housing legs and wings.


Acceptable pest levels triggering intervention.




An organism, typically an insect or arthropod, capable of transmitting pathogens or diseases from one host to another, posing a threat to human, animal, or plant health.


West Nile virus

Mosquito-borne virus causing flu-like symptoms, with rare cases of severe neurological illness. Prevented by reducing mosquito breeding sites and using repellents.

Weather Stripping

Sealing gaps around windows and doors to prevent pest entry and conserve energy.

Wolf Spiders

Large, hairy spiders known for their speed and hunting skills, often found on the ground in various habitats.


Small insects feeding on plant sap, commonly found on leaf undersides. Control with insecticidal soaps or natural predators.



Yellow Fever Mosquitoes

Also known as Aedes aegypti, these are vectors for diseases like yellow fever, dengue, Zika, and chikungunya. Identified by distinctive black and white markings, they thrive in tropical and subtropical regions and require effective control measures to prevent disease transmission.


Zika Virus

A disease primarily spread through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, known for causing fever, rash, and joint pain.
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