The world of pest control can be full of jargon, and whilst we try and ensure that our blogs are accessible to the lay person, we know that there can be a LOT of terminology. So here is useful guide to some of the most commonly used terms in the pest control industry, from A – Z.
Anti-coagulant: A substance commonly used in rodenticides that prevents blood clotting, resulting in internal haemorrhaging.
Application: Applying a product to manage pests.
Arthropod: An invertebrate animal with jointed appendages and an external skeleton, such as a crab, insect, mite, or spider.
Bait: Food attractant for pests. Some contain an active ingredient that helps control pests, Others do not contain an active ingredient and are used for monitoring pest activity.
Bait station: A device or container designed to house bait for pests such as ants, cockroaches or rodents in such a way as to allow unrestricted access by the target pests while preventing or minimising spillage of bait and access of off-target species.
Bug (common): The common term for crawling or flying insect, spider, or other arthropod found in homes.
Bug (technical): As a technical term, a bug is an insect with piercing mouth-parts e.g. bed bugs, shield bugs.
Commensal: Meaning to “share one’s table” this term has come to refer to animals such as rats and mice that live in close association with humans.
Concentrate: Product for dilution before application.
Desiccant: A pesticide that draws out the moisture (liquid) insects need to survive.
Dilution: Addition of water (or other) to concentrate to achieve the required concentration of active ingredients for best effect.
DIY: Do It Yourself.
Dust: A finely ground, dry mixture containing a small amount of an active ingredient and an inert carrier, such as talc or clay.
Fogging: a technique used for killing insects that involves using an extremely fine pesticide spray in an aerosolized format (fog) which is delivered by a fogging machine.
Fumigation: A method of pest control that completely fills an area with gaseous pesticides—or fumigants—to suffocate or poison the pests within. It is used to control pests in buildings (structural fumigation), soil, grain, and produce, and is also used during processing of goods to be imported or exported to prevent transfer of exotic organisms.
Harbourage: Place where pests hide, congregate, seek shelter and protection.
Histoplasmosis: A respiratory disease with symptoms like those of influenza that is caused by a fungus (Histoplasma capsulatum), typically associated with contamination from bird droppings
ILT: Insect light trap. Rentokil used LED light in our market-leading Lumnia range of ILT’s.
Granules: A formulation of dry, ready-to-use, low-concentrate pesticides plus an inert carrier. The particles are larger than those making up dust.
Insect: Flying or crawling arthropod possessing six legs. E.g. Cockroaches.
Insecticide: Product for killings and control of insects.
Invasive pests: Pests that have been brought into the country (not native to a country).
Integrated Pest Management (IPM): IPM is an approach to managing pests that relies more on prevention than control, by employing a combination of practices to eliminate the root causes of pest infestations.
Larva: Plural larvae. Immature stage (juvenile) of an animal that undergoes metamorphosis to change to the adult form. E.g. fly maggots.
Lure: Non-toxic bait or other attractant, usually used to attract pests to traps.
MSDS: Material safety data sheet – a document providing safety information on a product.
Multiple feeding: A pesticide that causes death when consumed in small amounts over a period of several days.
Nymph: Immature (juvenile) form of invertebrates which go through gradual metamorphosis. Nymphs typically look similar to but smaller than the adult form. E.g. bed bug nymphs.
Pest: Pests are insects or animals that are out of place and are causing a problem in your home or business.
Pest control: Preventing or eradicating a pest problem.
Pesticide: A product or material that is used to control pests.
Residual: Long-lasting, persistent ongoing effect, usually a pesticide.
Ready to Use: Product not requiring dilution before use.
Rodenticide: Product for control of rodents, usually toxic bait for controlling rats and/or mice.
Rodents: Rats and mice.
RTU: Ready to Use.
Salmonellosis: A disease transmitted through under cooked or raw poultry and eggs or under cooked or raw products containing eggs (i.e., mayonnaise). Salmonella bacteria are commonly spread through food contaminated with rodent or insect faeces.
SAPCA: South African Pest Control Association
Single-dose: A pesticide that will cause death after a single feeding.
Stored Product Insect (SPI): Insect pests that eat or damage stored foodstuffs. E.g. pantry moth larvae, biscuit beetle, grain weevils, spider beetle.
Structural fumigation: A method of pest control that involves filling the airspace within a structure with a toxic gas. A tarp, or tent, is used to cover the structure and trap the gas inside. The gas penetrates cracks, crevices, and pores in the wood to eliminate pests, such as drywood termites and bed bugs.
Termiticide: a class of insecticides specifically designed to eliminate termites.
Vapour: Fine liquid droplets in the air.
We hope these terms and their explanations will help next time you have a pest control emergency, be it at home or at work.