Glossary of Terms

abdomen – the third or most posterior of the three major body regions of an insect.

active ingredient – the substance in a pesticide that is responsible for its pesticidal effect. Also known as toxicant.

antenna (pl., antennae) – one of the paired segmented appendages located on each side of the insect head that function as sense organs.

arachnid – an arthropod with two body segments (cephalothorax and abdomen) and eight legs; a member of the class Arachnida. Spiders, ticks, mites, and scorpions are arachnids.

arthropod – an invertebrate animal with jointed appendages; a members of the phylum Arthropoda–this group includes insects, arachnids (spiders, ticks, etc.) and crustaceans, as well as others.

complete metamorphosis – a type of insect development characterized by a complete transformation after egg hatch, with larval, pupal, and adult stages that look very different from each other. Butterflies undergo complete metamorphosis.

fecal spotting – the droppings left behind by bed bugs. Bed bug fecal spotting is distinct and consists of dark reddish-brown spots of partially digested blood. Fecal spotting is an important tell-tale sign of a bed bug infestation.

head – the first or anterior body region, which bears the eyes, antennae, and mouthparts.

incomplete metamorphosis – a type of insect development in which the change is gradual and characterized by the absence of a pupal stage. After hatching from the egg, the immature insect (nymph) molts several times, getting slightly larger with each molt, before reaching the adult stage. Bed bugs undergo incomplete metamorphosis.

insect – an arthropod with three body regions (head, thorax, and abdomen), six legs, and two antennae. Bed bugs are insects.

integrated pest management (IPM) – a multi-faceted strategy to control pests such as bed bugs. IPM involves correctly identifying the pest in question, understanding the biology and behavior of the pest, and then creating a management plan based on that knowledge. IPM involves the use of multiple management tactics and may include non-chemical measures as well as pesticides (of which multiple kinds are often used).

larva (pl., larvae) – an immature stage of insects that undergo complete metamorphosis. Larvae are radically different in form from the adult insect, and they often look like grubs or caterpillars.

molt – to shed the outer skin (exoskeleton) at certain intervals to accommodate growth of the body. When an immature insect molts, it leaves behind its old shed skin. Molting no longer occurs once an insect becomes an adult.

metamorphosis – the process of changes that an insect passes through during its growth from egg to adult.

nymph – an immature stage of insects that undergo incomplete metamorphosis. Nymphs are similar in form to the adult insect, but they are smaller and never have fully developed wings. Bed bugs have five nymphal stages, each slightly larger than the preceding stage.

pest management professional (PMP) – an individual that is trained and licensed to treat various pest infestations. Also called a pest control operator (PCO) or exterminator.

pupa – the resting, inactive stage between the larval stage and the adult stage in insects that undergo complete metamorphosis.

residual insecticide – an insecticide that remains capable of killing insects that contact treated surfaces long after it has been applied.

suspension concentrate – a formulation in which particles or microcapsules of a pesticide are suspended in liquid.

thorax – the second or intermediate region of the insect’s body which bears the six legs and the wings.