Active ingredient (AI): The component of a pesticide formulation responsible for the toxic effect.
Agroecosystem: A relatively artificial ecosystem in an agricultural field, pasture, or orchard.
Antenna, Antennae (pl.): A pair of sensory organs located on the head of an insect, above the mouthparts.
Aorta: The front-most, non-pulsating portion of the dorsal blood vessel of an insect.
Arthropod: Any of the invertebrate animals (such as insects, spiders, or crustaceans) having an exoskeleton, a segmented body and jointed limbs.
Augmentation: Biological control practices intended to increase the number or effectiveness of existing natural enemies.
Beak: Colloquial expression for the protruding mouthpart structures of a sucking insect (= proboscis).
Biological control: The use of living organisms, such as predators, parasitoids, and pathogens, to control pest insects, weeds, or diseases. Typically involves some human activity.
Biorational: Having a minimal disruptive influence upon the environment and its inhabitants (e.g., a biorational insecticide). Broad-spectrum (insecticide): Active against a wide range of insects.
Bt: The bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis.
Chemical control: Pest management practices which rely upon the application of synthetic or naturally-derived pesticides.
Class: A category of the classification scheme of living organisms ranking below a phylum and above an order (e.g., Insecta).
Classical biological control: The importation of foreign natural enemies to control previously introduced, or native, pests.
Cocoon: A silken case formed by an insect larva for pupation.
Cole crops: Crops such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and other crucifers.
Complete metamorphosis: Type of insect development characterized by four distinct stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
Conservation: Any biological control practice designed to protect and maintain populations of existing natural enemies.
Contact poison: A pesticide that is absorbed through the body wall, as opposed to one that must be ingested.
Cucurbits: Vine crops such as cucumbers, melons, squash, and pumpkins.
Cultural control: Pest management practices that rely upon manipulation of the cropping environment (e.g., cultivation of weeds harboring insect pests).
Diapause: A physiological state of arrested metabolism, growth, and development that occurs at a particular stage in the life cycle of an organism.
Dormancy: A recurring period in the life cycle of an organism when growth, development, and reproduction are suppressed.
Economic threshold: see Action threshold.
Elytra: The thickened or leathery front or forewings of insects such as beetles.
Encapsulation: The surrounding of an invading body, such as the egg of a parasite, by insect hemocytes (blood cells) and the formation of a protective capsule.
Entomopathogenic: Insect-attacking organism.
Environmental impact quotient (EIQ): A relative value that estimates the environmental impact of a pesticide, by taking into account toxicity to natural enemies, wildlife, and humans, degree of exposure, aquatic and terrestrial effects, soil chemistry, etc.
Epizootic: A disease outbreak within an insect population.
Exoskeleton: A skeleton or supportive structure on the outside of an insect body.
Exotic: Introduced from another country or continent (e.g., introduced insect pest).
Forewing: The first or anterior pair of insect wings.
Fumigant: A substance which produces a gas, vapor, fume, or smoke intended to kill a pest.
Fungicide: Any substance that kills or inhibits the growth of a fungus.
Funicle: The portion of the flagellum of the antenna closest to the club.
Fungus, Fungi (pl.): Any of numerous plants lacking chlorophyll, ranging in form from a single cell to a body of branched filaments. Includes the yeasts, molds, smuts, and mushrooms.
Generalist: A pest or natural enemy that can utilize a wide range of species as host or prey.
Generation: Period from any given stage in the life cycle to the same life stage in the offspring. Typically from egg to egg.
Genetic engineering: The manipulation of the genetic material of an organism in order to achieve desirable characteristics.
Genus, Genera (pl.): A group of evolutionarily related species, sharing one or a number of characteristics.
Gradual metamorphosis: A type of insect development in which there is no prolonged resting stage (pupa). The three stages are: egg, nymph, and adult.
GV: Granulosis virus.
Habitat manipulation: Manipulation of agricultural areas and surrounding environment with the aim of conserving or augmenting populations of natural enemies (e.g., the planting of a refuge for natural enemies).
Head: The anterior region of an insect, which bears the mouthparts, eyes, antennae and houses the brain.
Herbicide: A substance used to kill or control weeds.
Hermaphroditic: Having both male and female sex organs in one individual.
Hindwings: The second pair of wings of an insect.
Honeydew: The sugary liquid discharge from the anus of certain insects (Homoptera) such as aphids and scales.
Host: The organism in or on which a parasitoid lives; a plant on which an insect feeds.
Hyperparasite: A parasite whose host is another parasite.
Inoculative release: The release of relatively small numbers of natural enemies that are expected to colonize, reproduce, and spread naturally throughout an area.
Insect growth regulator (IGR): A substance, natural or synthetic, that controls or modifies insect growth processes.
Insect resistant (plants): Tolerant of, or resistant to, insect attack (as in plants). individuals from strains whose ancestors had not been exposed to the pesticide.
Instar: The stage of an insect's life between successive molts, for example the first instar is between hatching from the egg and the first molt.
Integrated pest management (IPM): An approach to the management of pests in which all available control options, including physical, chemical, and biological controls, are evaluated and integrated into a unified program.
Integument: The outer covering of the insect body that includes the cuticle and the epidermis.
Introduction (classical biological control): The importation of a natural enemy from a foreign country or continent, usually to control a pest also of foreign origin.
Inundative release: The release of relatively large numbers of natural enemies to suppress pest populations, without the expectation that the natural enemies will colonize and spread throughout the area.
Leafy greens: Lettuces and other leaf vegetables.
Least toxic: Having a minimal toxic effect upon non-target organisms.
Life Cycle: The sequence of events that occurs during the lifetime of an individual organism.
Mass-reared: Produced in large numbers, as in natural enemies produced for release programs.
Mechanical control: Control of pests by physical means such as the use of screens or row covers.
Metabolism, Metabolic: Chemical changes that occur in living cells to provide energy for vital activities and to assimilate new material.
Metamorphosis: A change in body form during development of an insect.
Microbial: A microscopic organism; a germ.
Microbial insecticide: A preparation of microorganisms (e.g., viruses or bacteria) or their products used to suppress insect pest populations.
Microsporidia: Single-celled life forms, related to Protozoa.
Mite: Any of several minute invertebrates belonging to the phylum Arthropoda, class Arachnida.
Morphology: Form or structure of an organism.
Multivoltine: Having more than one brood or generation per season.
Mycelium, Mycelia (pl.): A mass of interwoven filamentous 'threads' that make up the vegetative part of a fungus.
Natural control: The suppression of pest populations by naturally occurring biological and environmental agents.
Natural enemies: Living organisms found in nature that kill, weaken, or reduce the reproductive potential of other organisms.
Nectar: The sugary liquid secreted by many flowers.
Nematode: An elongated, cylindrical worm parasitic in animals, insects, or plants, or free-living in soil or water.
NPV: Nuclear polyhedrosis virus.
Nymph: The immature stage, following hatching from the egg, of an insect that does not have a pupal stage.
Order: A taxonomic subdivision that contains groups of related families or superfamilies; usually ending in -ptera in insects.
Overwinter: A period of rest or hibernation by which insects survive the winter.
Oviposition: The laying or depositing of eggs.
Ovipositor: The egg-laying apparatus of a female insect.
Parasite: An organism that lives in or on another organism (the host) during some portion of its life cycle.
Parasitoid: An animal that feeds in or on another living animal, consuming all or most of its tissues and eventually killing it.
Parthenogenesis: Development of an insect, from egg to adult, without fertilization.
Pathogen: A disease-causing organism.
Pest: An organism that interferes with human activities, property, or health, or is objectionable.
Pest management: see Integrated pest management.
Pesticide: A substance that is used to kill, debilitate, or repel a pest.
Pest-resistant crops: Crops that possess attributes which minimize damage by pests.
Phenology: The seasonal life history of an insect population.
Pheromone: A substance, such as a sex attractant, that is given off by one individual and causes a specific reaction in other individuals of the same species.
Phylum, Phyla (pl.): One of the major divisions of the animal kingdom.
Physical Control: Control of pests by physical means such as heat, cold, sound waves, etc.
Polyembryonic (eggs): A single egg that divides to form two or more (often hundreds) identical embryos.
Polyembryony: Having several embryos.
Population: A group of individuals of the same species within a given space and time.
Predaceous: Preying upon other organisms, predatory.
Predator: An animal that attacks and feeds on other animals, normally killing several individuals during its life cycle.
Pronotum: The upper, often shield-like, hardened body-wall plate, located just behind the head of an insect.
Protozoan: A microscopic, single-celled organism that is largely aquatic and includes many parasitic forms.
Pupa, Pupae (pl.): The nonfeeding stage between the larva and adult in insects with complete metamorphosis.
Puparium, Puparia (pl.): A case formed by the hardening of the last larval skin, in which the pupa is formed; usually of flies.
Pupate: To transform to a pupa.
Resistance (insecticide or pesticide): see Insecticide resistance.
Resistance (plant): see Host plant resistance.
Resurgence (pest): The development of large populations of pests that had previously been suppressed.
Scouting, Scout: see Sampling.
Septicemia: Blood poisoning caused by pathogenic organisms.
Specialist: A pest or natural enemy that utilizes a narrow range of species for its host or prey.
Species: A group of individuals similar in structure and capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. They are different in structure from other such groups and do not interbreed with them.
Spiracles: The external openings of the insect breathing (tracheal) system, found along the abdomen.
Spore: A reproductive structure developing in certain bacteria and fungi which is strongly resistant to environmental influences but which will become active under suitable conditions.
Stage (life stage): A distinct period in the development of an organism (e.g., for some insects, egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages).
Stomach poison: An insecticide that is lethal only after it has been ingested by an insect, entering the insect body through the gut.
Systemic insecticide: An insecticide that is absorbed into plant sap and is lethal to insects feeding on or within the treated plant.
Tolerance (host-plant resistance): The ability of a plant to withstand injury by pests.
Transformed (Bt-transformed): Transfer and expression of a gene (e.g., for Bt toxin) into another organism.
Trap crop: A small area of a crop used to divert pests from a larger area of the same or another crop. The pests, once diverted to the trap crop, may be treated with an insecticide.
Hoffmann, M.P. and Frodsham, A.C. (1993) Natural Enemies of Vegetable Insect Pests. Cooperative Extension, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. 63 pp.