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A guide to understanding some of the terminology on this website and in the industry.


Abdomen  -  on insects, the third or last major body region which has spiracles on most segments

Active Infestation  -  evidence of present activity by that organism, visible in, on, or under a structure, or in or on debris under the structure


Active Ingredient  -  the component in a pesticide product which kills pests or affects pest behavior

Acute Toxicity  -  the toxicity of a substance determined at the end of 24 hours.  The toxicity that causes damage or death from a single dose or exposure


Adult  -  a sexually mature and fully grown arthropod which, in most species, is incapable of further growth


Aerosols  -  ready-to-use pesticide formulations which contain an active ingredient, solvent, and propellant


Allergy  -  a sensitivity reaction such as asthma, which develops after an initial exposure to a proteinaceous substance


Anaphylactic  -  a hypersensitivity reaction to proteins and other substances which, upon a second exposure, can cause life threatening conditions


Antenna  -  the paired segmented sensory structures on the head of an insect; located above the mouthparts and near the eye


Anterior  -  near the front, especially situated in the front of the body or nearer to the head


Anthropod  -  an invertebrate animal which has a segmented body and jointed appendages; member of the phylum arthropoda


Antigen  -  a proteinaceous substance which causes an allergic reaction

Attractant  -  a chemical that lures pests to a trap, thereby removing them from crops, animals or stored products

Avicide  -  a pesticide that is used to kill birds


Bait  -  pesticide formulation which contains water or food attractant and an active ingredient

Biochemical Pesticide  -  a naturally occurring substance that controls pests by a mechanism other than toxicity.  Examples include sex pheromones that are used as a mating disrupter for insect pests, and plant extracts that are used as attractants to lure insect pests to traps or that are used as insect repellents

Brand Name  -  a name used by a pesticide manufacturer or supplier for a formulation, and the most prominent name on product labels and in advertisements.  Often a registered trade mark


Carton  -  in wasps and hornets, the nest material composed of partially digested wood and soil cemented together with secretions and fecal material

Caste  -  in social insects, a group of individuals which have a common functional characteristic such as a worker, soldier, and reproductive

Certified Applicator  -  a pesticide applicator whom has passed the provincial certification testing and is authorized to purchase and apply commercial use pesticides

Chronic Toxicity  -  the effect of a chemical following prolonged and repeated exposure


Cocoon  -  the silken covering over the pupa which is woven by the last instar larva


Commensal  -  refers to rodents which live in close association with humans


Complete Metamorphosis  -  in insects, the developmental life cycle consisting of egg, several larval stages, pupa, and adult

Cuticle  -  the thin three layer outer surface of the exoskeleton


Dermal Toxicity  -  toxicity of a chemical substance as a result of contact with the skin


Desiccant  -  an insecticide that kills insect pests by damaging their cuticle thus causing them to dehydrate, or a herbicide that promotes the drying of living plant tissues, such as unwanted plant tops


Dorsal  -  back; upper side; top

Drift  -  movement by the wind of pesticide droplets or dust beyond the intended area of application

Dusts  -  a dry pesticide formulation consisting of fine particles of talc or clay which are coated with an active ingredient


Emulsifiable Concentrate  -  a pesticide formulation composed of an active ingredient, solvent, and emulsifier which readily dissolve in water

Engorge  -  to fill with blood


Entomology  -  the study of insects


Entomophobia  -  fear of insects

Exoskeleton  -  the exterior shell or skeleton characteristic of the phylum arthropoda


Feces  -  excrement left from the pest

Flowable  -  a liquid pesticide formulation composed of finely ground particles of the active ingredient which mix with water to form a suspension

Formulation  -  a pesticide as sold to personal and professional end users, usually a mixture of an active ingredient and several inert ingredients, and with a prominently displayed brand name on its label


Frass  -  solid fecal material; wood fragments typically mixed with excrement produced by wood infesting insects


Fumigant  -  a gas which, under proper conditions, readily penetrates all areas within a confined space and kills all life forms present


Fungus  -  a plant which does not contain chlorophyll


Granules  -  a dry pesticide formulation consisting of particles, usually vermiculite, larger than those used in dusts, which are coated with an active ingredient


Head  -  on insects, the first major body region composed of the eyes, antennae, and mouth parts

Herbicide  -  a pesticide that is used to kill plants, or to inhibit their growth or development.  Also known as weed killers


Insect Growth Regulator (IGR)  -  synthetic chemical analogous to insect juvenile hormones which regulate growth and development in insects


Inert ingredient  -  a component of a pesticide which aids in dissolving the active ingredient and facilitates its use

Insecticide  -  an insecticide is a substance used to kill insects


Instar  -  the stage between molts


Integrated Pest Management (IPM)  -  a decision making process that anticipates and prevents pest activity and infestation by combining various strategies to achieve long term solutions.  Components of an IPM program may include proper waste management, structural repair, maintenance, biological and mechanical control techniques, etc., while limiting the use of pesticides as a last means of control


Larva  -  the developmental stages between the egg and pupa in insects with complete metamorphosis.  In mites and ticks, the six-legged stage between the egg and nymphs

Larvacide  -  an insecticide which targets the larval stage of insects with complete metamorphosis

Leaching  -  the movement of a pesticide or other chemical downward through the soil as a result of water movement

Lethal Concentration 50% (LC50)  -  concentration required to kill 50% of test organisms

Lethal Dose 50% (LD50)  -  dose required to kill 50% of test organisms


Mandible  -  in insect mouth parts, the jaw

Metamorphosis  -  the development and change an arthropod undergoes from the egg to adult

Micro Encapsulated  -  a pesticide formulation which consists of a liquid or dry active ingredient surrounded by a plastic coating which gradually releases the active ingredient

Molting  -  shedding of the cuticle (the exoskeleton) in insects at specific points in their life cycle.  This is necessary to let the insect grow as the exoskeleton is rigid


National Pest Management Association (NPMA)  -  an international/national member association of pest control operators located in Fairfax, Virginia (

Nocturnal  -  active at night

Non-Target Organism  -  any organism that a pesticide is not intended to control


Nymph  -  the developmental stages between the egg and adult in terrestrial insects with simple metamorphosis.  In ticks and mites, the eight-legged stage between the larva and adult


Ocetheca  -  the purse-shaped egg capsule common on cockroaches

One-Time Service  -  a pest control concern that is an outlier.  A bed bug or cockroach infestation, too many spiders, etc.  Usually consisting of an initial service and a follow up

Oral Toxicity  -  the toxicity of a compound when ingested.  The oral toxicity of a pesticide is expressed in milligrams of chemical per kilogram of body weight. It is the amount which when given orally in a single dose will kill 50% of the animals


Ovipositor  -  in some insects, a long projection which extends from the tip of the abdomen and is used to lay eggs


Parasite  -  an organism which lives in or on another organism from which it derives food and shelter


Pathogen  -  a disease-causing micro organism; a bacterium or virus


Pathogenic  -  the ability of a microorganism to cause disease

Pest Control  -  the periodic eradication of pests


Pesticide  -  a substance that is intended to kill, repel or otherwise control any organism that is designated a “pest”, including weeds, insects, snails, rodents, fungi and bacteria

Pheromone  -  a chemical usually excreted outside the body and used for communication within a species


Pincers  -  in some insects, the forceps-like structure at the tip of the abdomen


Predator  -  an organism which captures, kills, and eats its prey for food

Private Eye Pest Control (PEPC)  -  the vendor of choice for your pest control concerns.  Delivering incredible value at an affordable price!  "Call the Best and put your case to rest!"  

Proboscis  -  in some arthropods, the long extension of the mouth parts used for sucking food; a beak

Pupa  -  the developmental stage between the larval and adult stages in insects with complete metamorphosis


Pyrethrin  -  a natural insecticide derived from chrysanthemum plants which is irritating to many insect species and is used to flush them out of harborage areas; a toxicant


Residual Insecticide  -  an insecticide with properties that make it suitable for application to surfaces which will later be visited by insects.  It remains effective after application

Resistance  -  with respect to pests and diseases: the ability of a pest population or disease to survive the poisonous effect of a pesticide



Restricted-Use Pesticide  -  a product which is determined by the Canadian Pest Control Products Act (PMRA) to cause adverse environmental effects even when used according to the label.  These products can be applied only by or under the direct supervision of a certified applicator


Rodenticide  -  are typically non-specific pest control chemicals made and sold for the purpose of killing rodents (mice, rats, voles, etc.)


Simple metamorphosis  -  in insects, the developmental life cycle consisting of egg, several nymphal or naiad stages, and adult


Soluble powders  -  a dry pesticide formulation which dissolves in water to form a true solution


Solutions  -  a liquid pesticide formulation which dissolves readily in water or petroleum based solvent


Spiracle  -  the exterior opening of the respiratory system


Stinger  -  a modified ovipositor which is used to inject venom


Swarmer  -  in termites and ants, the winged reproductive stage which leaves the nest in mass to reproduce


Synergist  -  a component frequently added to a pesticide product in order to enhance the activity of the active ingredient


Technician  -  the individual(s) who comes out from Private Eye Pest Control to save the day!  They'll inspect structures and make the application of the pesticide(s) to control pests


Thorax  -  the middle section of the insect body which is composed of three segments - prothorax, mesothorax, and the metathorax; the point of attachment for the legs and wings

Toxicity  -  the degree to which a chemical substance or a particular mixture of substances can damage an organism.  The capacity of a pesticide to harm an organism other than mechanical means.  A measure of the ability of a pesticide to cause acute, delayed or allergic effects in or on an organism


Ultra-Violet  -  a wavelength of light which is very attractive to many insect species


Wettable Powder  -  a dry dust pesticide formulation designed for dispersal in water

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