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Glossary about insects and insect control

In the following, Insect Respect has compiled the most important terms and keywords regarding insects and insect control. The glossary includes terms from long-standing experience of biologists and from insect control. If an important term is missing or encountered without being listed here, please write to us at kontakt@insect-respect.org.

Abundance: Population density or number of individuals of a species, relating to their habitat.

Active substance: Substance that causes a specific effect with a specific reaction in an organism; active component e.g. of biocides, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and repellents.

Adult: Life stage of an organism after reaching sexual maturity.

Anthropogenic: Everything that is caused, produced or influenced by human beings; e.g. environmental problems caused by humans.

Arthropods: Phylum of the arthropods. Animals such as insects, crustaceans (e.g. barnacles, crabs), centipedes and millipedes, arachnids (e.g. mites, scorpions).

Authorisation, general (biocidal product): Legally prescribed, two-stage procedure before putting any biocidal product on the market; first stage: active substance approval with testing of all contained active substances (listing in the Union list of all approved active substances); second stage: different alternative authorisation procedures, depending on the respective product and, in the European zone, also depending on the number of countries where the product should be sold; distinction between national authorisation, union authorisation, simplified authorisation, respectively with the option to renew and mutual recognition among the participating countries.

Authorisation, national (biocidal product): Legally prescribed procedure before putting a biocidal product on the market in one single EU country; if the product should be marketed in several countries, a company can apply for the mutual recognition of the authorisation.

Authorisation requirement (biocides): According to the Biocidal Product Regulation, the obligation to only put biocidal products on the market, for commercial or professional use, if they are authorised, imparted or recognised.

Authorisation, simplified (biocidal product): Legally prescribed procedure before putting a biocidal product on the market, which meets specific criteria defined in the Biocidal Product Regulation; possible for products that do not contain any active substances that may be hazardous both for the environment and for the health of human beings and animals.

Autochthonous: Native, indigenous.

Autogamy: Self-pollination; transfer of the plant's own pollen to its own stigma.

Beneficials: Name used for organisms that counteract pests as a natural enemy, either by decimating them or preventing them from spreading further; they play a central role in horticulture, agriculture, forestry and in viticulture; they are an established component of integrated crop protection, where there are specifically bred and released; e.g. ladybirds, green lacewings, parasitic wasps.

Benefits of insects: Because of their evolutionary history, the associated close relationship to plants and other animals, their species diversity and their adaptability, insects have become indispensable for life on Earth; they are central elements of food webs, they ensure the survival of plants and therefore the nutrition of humans and animals with their pollination services; moreover, they decompose organic substances such as dung or leaves and thus contribute to the formation of humus and overall soil fertility; they also produce important products for mankind, such as silk or shellac, and are used for medicinal purposes.

Biocide: Chemical or biological (not physical) active substances and products outside of the agricultural sector used for killing or deterring pests, bugs, algae, fungi or bacteria; they also include wood preservatives, anti-fouling products, preserving agents, disinfectants, insect repellents, rat poison, etc.

Biocide Act: Law from 2002 for the implementation of Directive 98/8 EC (EU Biocide Directive) from 1998; among other things, it regulates the marketing authorisation procedures, labelling, packaging and advertising of biocides.

Biocidal Product Regulation (EU) (No. 528/2012): Regulation for the marketing and use of biocidal products; replaces Directive 98/8 EC; among other things, it now also includes nanomaterials, goods treated with biocidal products; newly phrased exclusion criteria for the approval of active substances; new introduction of the instrument of substitution (replacement of dangerous substances by less harmful substances) and the associated comparative assessment of of biocidal products; provides for simplified authorisation and union authorisation.

Biodegradability: Capacity of organic chemicals to be decomposed by microorganisms, removed from the environment, and reintroduced into the mineral matter cycle; for active substances, it is an important sub-aspect in terms of their environmental impact and their associated authorisation.

Biodiversity: Biological diversity; comprises three areas: diversity of all species e.g. plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms, diversity of all ecosystems (i.e. habitats and the interactions of species with their environment), and the genetic diversity within species e.g. different apple varieties.

Biome: A major biotic habitat; the entire predominant ecosystem of a large area of the Earth's surface.

Biotope: Habitat of a biocoenosis.

Bite: cf. sting.

Bivoltine: Two generations per year.

Borreliosis (Lyme disease): General designation for different infectious diseases that are caused by Borrelia bacteria in humans and other mammals; the bacteria is mainly transmitted by ticks.

Carbamate: Salts and esters from carbamic acids; often used as insecticides, fungicides and herbicides.

Chikungunya: Infectious disease caused by the chikungunya virus in the tropics, triggering fever and joint pains, among other symptoms; transmitted by mosquitoes.

Class: A hierarchical level in (biological) taxonomy lying between the phylum and the order; for example, insects (Insecta) or shellfish (Crustacea) are individual classes within the phylum of the arthropods.

Climate change (insects): In the last three decades, there has been an increase in migration of heat-loving insects; these migrants often come from the western and eastern Mediterranean area; for other heat-loving species that were already found in isolated or sporadic cases, an increase in findings and expansion of the range has been recorded. Moreover, many insect species are found earlier on in the year. Experts suspect that this phenomenon is related to climate change. This development is particularly problematic for specialised and less mobile insect species, when e.g. their habitats change radically due to warmer temperatures or if their distribution range no longer overlaps with their food sources. Mild winters can contribute to mass occurrences of specific pests; disease-transmitting insects from the tropics are also able to spread further north; finally, the disappearance of specific insect species has consequences for the pollination of plants and the food sources for numerous other animal species.

Cocoon: A casing made of filamentous gland secretions, used by certain insects and spiders to envelop their eggs or to encapsulate themselves for pupation.

Compensation: Equalisation.

Crop protection market: (Global) market for crop protection products, which generated 51.2 billion dollars in 2015; the shares for different continents were: USA, Canada and Mexico 18.3 %, Latin America 27.4 %, Europe 22.7 %, Asia 27.4 %, and 4.2 % for the remaining areas;  in 2015, the German crop protection market recorded sales of herbicides of 636 million Euro, fungicide sales of 711 million Euro and insecticide sales of 134 million Euro; for other crop protection products such as growth regulators, rodenticides or molluscicides, the sales were of 111 million Euro; for crop protection products in the domestic sector, the sales in Germany in 2015 were of 65.7 million Euro.

Crop protection products (CPP): Chemical or biological active substances and mixtures thereof, which are used to protect plants and produce from harmful organisms or to prevent their impacts; they are also used to destroy undesired plants or plant parts, to inhibit undesired growth of plants or to prevent such growth.

Cypermethrin: Chemical compound, insecticide and veterinary drug from the pyrethroid group; acts as a contact or nerve poison and a repellent.

Damage (insects): Due to their special life strategy, insects cause damage to plants, plant material or animal material, and impair other organisms with associated consequential damage (e.g. disease transmission, reduced milk production in livestock); mostly in conjunction with the feeding of the larvae, more rarely also as adult animals.

Dengue fever: Infectious disease caused by the dengue virus in tropical and subtropical regions, triggering fever, rashes, headaches, muscle and joint pains, among other symptoms; transmitted by mosquitoes.

Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT): Insecticide that is forbidden or restricted in terms of its production and use since the 1970's in western industrialised countries (contact poison, stomach poison).

Directive 98/8 EC: Directive regulating the marketing of biocidal products (EU Biocide Directive); among other things, it deals with the assessment, registration, putting onto the market, the recognition of authorisations, and the positive list of active substances.

Disposal (biocidal product): According to the Biocide Act and Directive, biocidal products must be disposed of in compliance with the applicable waste legislation of the European Union and the member states; most of all, suitable specifications must be included on the safety data sheet, but also on the packaging, the label as well as in the instructions for use.

Endemic: The occurrence of plants and animals that are generally only found in a small, specific and clearly delimited range worldwide. For diseases: Cumulative occurrence in a limited region or population.

Entomological association: Non-profit scientific association with the purpose of maintaining and promoting entomology as well as research in this area; often also publishers of journals on the subject.

Entomologist: Insect researcher.

Entomology: The study of insects.

Environmental hazard: Chemical substances, their mixtures or radiation, and their transformation products that interfere with the ecological balance to such an extent that they result in hazards to the environment (water, soil, air, climate, animals, plants, microorganisms, etc.); must be written on the label of products and materials with the corresponding information (with symbols, etc.).

Eutrophication: Nutrient input in a (sub-)ecosystem, also often in connection with nutrient accumulation and over-fertilisation.

Family: A hierarchical level in biological taxonomy lying between the order and the genus; for example, ladybirds (Coccinellidae), true weevils (Curculionidae) or ground beetles (Carabidae) are individual families within the order of the beetles (Coleoptera).

Fish toxicity (biocide): Harmful effects caused by specific chemical substances or their transformation products in watercourses and on the fish living there; indicated on safety data sheets and labels with the corresponding danger symbol ("environmental hazard").

Food chain, food web: Sequence of individual organisms that depend on each other in terms of their nutrition: e.g. cabbage leaves are eaten by the caterpillar of the cabbage butterfly, which is eaten by a blue tit, which in turn is eaten by a cat; however, a food chain is generally a complex network of different feeding relationships in which various animals and plants are intertwined; it is then referred to as a food web.

Food sources for insects: Insects feed on plant and animal substances; the food spectrum is so extensive that there is hardly an organic substance that is not used by insects as a food source. Herbivore (phytophagous) insects include e.g. butterflies like the small tortoiseshell, wood-eating (xylophagous) beetles like the stag beetle, and also dung-eating (coprophagous) flies and midges; carnivorous (zoophagous) insects include e.g. predatory species such as dragonflies, parasites like the bedbug or scavenging (necrophagous) insects like the skin beetle family. Many insect species are very flexible in their feeding habits and use a different food source as a larva than as an adult animal; the latter often don't even eat anything at all.

Fouling: Undesired colonisation of organisms on technical surfaces.

Fungicides: Chemical or biological substance against fungi and their spores, which kills them or prevents their growth for the duration of its efficacy.

Genus: A hierarchical level in (biological) taxonomy lying between the family and the species; for example, Adalia is a genus within the family of the ladybirds (Coccinellidae).

Hazardous substances: Pure substances or substance mixtures that exhibit a chemical hazard potential.

Hemimetabolism: Mode of development among insects with incomplete metamorphosis and therefore larval stages that are already very similar in appearance to the adult animal; lacking of a pupal stage; e.g. with grasshoppers, typical bugs, cockroaches.

Herbicides: Chemical substances that selectively or totally kill undesired plants; also called weed killers.
Herbivore: cf. phytophagous.

Holometabolism: Mode of development among insects with complete metamorphosis and therefore different larval, pupal and adult stages; e.g. with beetles, butterflies, ants, bees, and wasps.

Hormone: Endogenous biochemical low-molecular compounds that are produced and released by special cells. They are generally transported by the blood to the cells of the target organ where they cause specific effects or regulatory functions; also called messenger substance.

Host: In biology, an organism that is infected with a parasite and supplies it with its own resources.

Industry Association Agrar (IVA): Association based in Frankfurt that represents the interests of the agrochemical industry; the business segments of the member companies include crop protection, plant nutrition, pest control and biotechnology; the focus of their activities is on information transfer regarding industry issues, especially the significance of research and innovation for modern and sustainable agriculture. They are distinguished by detached body parts (head, thorax, abdomen) With their three pairs of legs, they differ from the class of the arachnids, which have four pairs of legs.

Insect breeding: Artificial propagation of insects; usually in connection with animals used as feed, for pollination, biological pest control, silk fibres, and human nutrition.

Insect decline: Reduction in the quantity and the total number of species of insects; global phenomenon; causes and extent are the object of current research; possible causes include, among others, poisoning and consequential damage due to pesticides, over-fertilising, land use, land use change and climate change; has far-reaching impacts that affect the number of species and population sizes of insectivore animals, food production, and global food security, among other things.

Insect hits: Deadly collision of insects on solid surfaces; generally caused by fast driving vehicles or rapidly rotating objects (e.g. wind turbines).

Insect identification: Identification and naming of an insect with the aid of identification literature, photos or reference collections; requires specialised knowledge of the body structure and the biology of insects; can often only be performed by experts.

Insect protection: Involves products and measures that serve to ward off or kill insects that are considered as harmful or a nuisance by humans.

Insect repellent: Products and measures used to repel, ward off or kill insects that are considered to be harmful or a nuisance by humans; range from physical measures (e.g. fly screen, protective clothing, fly swatter, vacuum cleaner, glue traps, UV lamps), through repellents (e.g. essential oils), all the way to insecticide products (e.g. sprays, baits, sprays).

Insect Respect: Created in 2012, the world's first mark of quality for control-neutral insect protection, guaranteeing compensation for indoor biocide use. Based on a scientific model, the damage to the intradomal fauna, mainly insects, is calculated and compensated by means of insect-friendly compensation areas, especially extensive green flat roofs with various structures. The mark of quality is an initiative of the internationally active biocide producer Reckhaus.

Insecticide: Pesticide used to kill, ward off or inhibit insects and their development stages; also called insect repellent; often used in agriculture, forestry, for stored product and material protection, and in the hygiene sector.

Insects: Class of the arthropod animal phylum with the most species, and with almost one million species, also the class of all existing animals with the most species (more than 60 %);

Intradomal fauna: Collective term for all animals that can permanently live in buildings.

Kingdom: A hierarchical level in (biological) taxonomy, which includes e.g. plants, animals and fungi.

Larva: In zoology, designation for the early development stage of an animal between the egg and the adult stage; differs from the adult animal in terms of the shape and life strategy; the most well-known animal groups with a larval stage are the insects (e.g. butterfly caterpillar) and amphibians (e.g. tadpoles).

Lethal dose (LD): In toxicology, the dose of a specific active substance or a specific radiation that is lethal for a specific organism; LD50 is the substance dose at which 50 % of the test organisms die within a certain period of time.

Listing (biocidal active substances): Inclusion of an authorised active substance in the list of approved active substances of the European Union; formerly Annex I of Directive 98/8 EC.

Maggot: Common designation for the larval stage of certain insects; e.g. for fly larvae.

Malaria: Most common tropical disease, caused by single-cell parasites from the Plasmodium genus; mainly transmitted by mosquitoes from the Anopheles genus; also called marsh or tertian fever.

Material pest: Organism that feeds on materials of plant or animal origin, causing damage or destruction (e.g. clothes moth, skin beetle, carpet beetle).

Metamorphosis: In zoology, the transformation from the larval form to the adult, sexually mature animal; with insects, a distinction is made between incomplete (hemimetabolous) and complete (holometabolous) metamorphosis.

Microcephaly: Abnormal development of the human head, which is associated with a comparatively smaller head size and mental disabilities; it can be triggered by infection with rubella or the Zika virus during pregnancy, by chromosome abnormalities or alcohol consumption by the pregnant mother.

Molluscicide: Chemical active substance that kills molluscs such as slugs; e.g. slug pellets.

Monitoring product: Product that is used to determine the infestation with a pest by means of physical or mechanical measures; for this reason, it is not considered as a biocide according to the Biocidal Product Regulation, although the product can also kill the target organism; e.g. yellow glue traps.

Necrophagous: Necrophagous insects feed on dead meat.

Nociceptors: Free, sensory nerve endings that transform tissue damage (e.g. injury) into an electrical signal, allowing it to be transmitted to the central nervous system.

Nuisance pests: Designation for an animal that is not a pest in the proper sense, but whose presence is still considered to be a nuisance, frightening or disgusting.

Order: A hierarchical level in (biological) taxonomy lying between the class and the family; for example, beetles (Coleoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera) or cockroaches (Blattodea) are individual orders within the class of the insects.

Ovaries: In botany, the designation for the part of the pistil carrying the ovules.

Overwintering: Survival of seasonal low temperatures by animals and plants thanks to suitable adaptation mechanisms, usually in the form of special physiological states; numerous animals also avoid unfavourable climatic conditions through migration.

Pain perception (insects): Since insects do not have nociceptors, it is assumed that they cannot perceive pain; with Drosophila melanogaster, however, it is assumed that they have a gene that is connected to pain perception; insects avoid certain stimuli (e.g. heat, electric shocks, chemical active substance) that could cause them damage; the topic is the subject of controversial debate.

Parasite: Animal or plant organism that lives permanently or temporarily on or in another organism and causes damage.

Permethrin: Chemical compound, insecticide and acaricide from the pyrethroid group; acts as a contact or stomach poison and a repellent.

Pest: Organism that causes damage to human beings due to their life strategy (e.g. impairment and destruction of plants, objects, material, foodstuffs); mostly used in conjunction with insects.

Pest control, biological: Targeted release of organisms or viruses to decimate animals or plants that are considered to be harmful for human beings; it often involves the use of predators, parasites or pathogens; e.g. cats, ladybirds, parasitic wasps, nematodes, Bacillus thuringiensis.

Pest control, biotechnical: Targeted use of biotechnical methods to decimate animals, plants or microorganisms that are considered to be harmful for human beings; it makes use of the reaction of the target organism towards physical or chemical key stimuli; these include e.g. UV light traps, pheromones (e.g. sexual attractants), hormones (e.g. growth hormones, moulting hormones), and changing of the genetic material (e.g. through breeding, radiation).

Pest control, chemical: Targeted use of chemical, toxic active substances to decimate animals, plants or microorganisms that are considered to be harmful for human beings; mostly involves the use of pesticides, insecticides, rodenticides, molluscicides, fungicides or herbicides.

Pest control, control-neutral: Targeted implementation of measures aiming to compensate for the interference in the pest organism population; these include e.g. the creation of (substitute) habitats, targeted breeding and release of animals.

Pest control, general: Chemical, physical, mechanical, biological or biotechnical measures to control plants, animals, and microorganisms that are considered to be harmful by human beings.

Pest control, integrated (Integrated Pest Management (IPM)): Comprehensive control concept involving a combination of different measures to predict and prevent pest infestations, and where absolutely necessary, to implement reasonable, targeted control measures that are limited in their extent.

Pest control, mechanical: Targeted use of mechanical methods to decimate animals and plants that are considered to be harmful for human beings; these include, among other things, capturing (e.g. collecting, glue traps), repelling (e.g. fly screen, barriers) and deterring (e.g. scarecrow).

Pest control, physical: Targeted use of physical methods to decimate animals, plants or microorganisms that are considered to be harmful for human beings; these include e.g. cold, heat, radiation, vapours or acoustic signals.

Pest controller: Profession or training that involves the identification of pests, analysis of their infestation, and implementation of suitable control measures; often also associated with an advisory function; requires three years of training in Germany; also referred to as an exterminator.

Pesticides: Chemical active substances that kill or ward off organisms that are a nuisance or harmful, or inhibit their germination, growth or reproduction; also called pest control agents.

Pharmacology: Science of the interactions between organisms and substances; also called pharmaceutics.

Phenological: Involves biological processes that are influenced by regular, periodically recurring and natural developments; e.g. sequence of the seasons.

Pheromone: Chemical messenger substance for communication between individuals of the same species; e.g. sexual pheromones for attracting sexual partners.

Phosphorus compounds: Compounds with the chemical element phosphorus (P); fundamental in central areas for the structure and function of all organisms; important insecticides and crop protection products.

Phylum: A hierarchical level in (biological) taxonomy lying between the kingdom and class; for example, the arthropods are a phylum within the animal kingdom (multicellular organisms).

Phytophagous: Feeding on plants or plant substance; same meaning as the term herbivore.

Piperonyl butoxide (PBO): Chemical active substance, which as a so-called synergist, enhances the insecticidal effect of pyrethroids without having an insecticidal effect itself.

Pistil: In botany, the designation for the stigma, the style and part of a flower carrying the ovaries.

Plague: Often used in the context of a pest infestation or epidemic; also a theme in the Old and New Testament (e.g. Ten Plagues).

Pollen: Dust-like grains that contain the male sexual cells of a flower; also called farina.

Pollination: Transfer of pollen to the stigma.

Population: In biology, designation for a group of animals or plants of the same species, which live in the same area at the same time and are able to reproduce with each other.

Predator: Organism that kills other organisms on a regular basis to feed on them; the predator is usually larger than its prey, but its population is smaller.

Prevention: Measure to avoid undesired events or situations; also called prophylaxis.

Pupa: In entomology, the designation for the usually virtually or fully immobile transitional stage between the larvae and adult insect.

Pupation: Developmental phase within holometabolous metamorphosis, during which an insect larvae transforms itself into a pupa after its last moult.

Push-pull technology: Integrated, environment-friendly, sustainable and biological pest control in crop production, involving the cultivation of other plants between the crops that ward off pests (push) thanks to their special properties (e.g. odour); plants are cultivated around the field, which thanks to their special properties, attract pests out of the crops (pull) and potentially even decimate them; at the same time, these plants improve soil fertility and moisture, decimate weeds, contribute to erosion protection and serve as additional feed for livestock; the method was developed at the International Insect Research Institute icipe in Nairobi.

Pyrethroid: Synthetic insecticide with a chemical structure similar to (natural) pyrethrum and is named after it.

Pyrethrum: Natural insecticide that is made from the flowers of the tansies plant genus (Tanacetum; daisies (Asteraceae)); the main active substances are pyrethrin, cinerin and jasmolin.

Rabies: Infectious disease triggered by viruses in human beings and animals, which almost always causes lethal brain inflammation; usually transmitted by dogs or bats.

Red list: Within the field of nature conservation, an instrument for documenting the endangerment and extinction of animal and plant species, species communities, and habitats relating to a specific area or region.

Repellent: Designation for an artificial or natural active substance that deters specific organisms due to its odour, but without killing them.

Resilience: Resistance of a system towards disturbances or changes.

Resistance: Genetics-related or acquired resistance of an organism towards harmful environmental influences (e.g. diseases, parasites, climate); also towards control agents for pests, and towards medication for bacteria and viruses.

Rodenticide: Chemical active substance contained in baits or gases for controlling rodents.

Safety data sheet (SDS): Instrument to communicate safety-related information about a chemical active substance and its mixtures; summarises all information and measures relating to health and environmental protection and occupational safety.

Sexual attractant: Chemical message or scent substance (pheromones) to attract or sexually excite a sexual partner.

Silk: Animal fibres that are obtained from the cocoon of the silkworm (Bombyx mori).

Solitary: Animals that live as individuals or alone; in contrast to social organisms (gregarious).

Species: The lowest hierarchical level in (biological) taxonomy, coming after the genus; for example, the two-spot ladybird (Adalia bipunctata) is a species within the Adalia genus.

Species diversity: Measurement for the diversity of animals and plants within a habitat or a region; part of the characterisation of the biodiversity of a habitat or region.

Stigma: In botany, it is the designation for the upper part of the pistil of a flowering plant; serves to capture the pollen.

Sting: In zoology, a defensive action used by an insect armed with a poison sting, usually used by ants, bees and wasps; using a sting on the abdomen, a poisonous secretion is injected under the skin of the potential enemy; among blood-sucking insects, such as mosquitoes, flies, bedbugs, fleas, lice and ticks, it is referred to as a bite as in this case it is a proboscis (mouth parts) that pokes through the skin of a potential host.

Storage pests: Organism that feeds on stored foodstuffs, soiling and contaminating them, and therefore making them inedible or totally destroying them; e.g. rats, mice, flour moths, sawtoothed grain beetle.

Style: In botany, it is the designation for the filamentary or columnar connection between the stigma and the ovaries; also called stylus.

Surface sealing: Covering of the natural soil by structures (e.g. paved roads, concrete courtyards), so that precipitation can no longer penetrate and soil processes can no longer take place.

Sustainability: Preservation and long-term effects of an ecological, economic or social system; with regards to the well-being of future generations, it should not be strained beyond its productive capacity and should not be exploited.

Swarm: Collection or group of organisms that move together at the same time; generally in conjunction with insects, fish or birds.

Synergist: In zoology, an organism that collaborates with another organism in its life functions, whereby both parties benefit; in pharmacology, also a designation for active substances that mutually reinforce their effects.

Taxonomy: Field in biology that deals with the classification, designation (nomenclature) and identification of organisms; it also includes the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of organisms (phylogeny) and exploration of the processes that contribute to the diversity of organisms (evolutionary biology).

Tetramethrin: Chemical compound and insecticide from the pyrethroid group; acts as a contact or nerve poison.

Tiger mosquito, Asian (Aedes albopictus): Mosquito species that is originally found in the tropics and subtropics of South and Southeast Asia, in recent decades, however, it has been spread worldwide; disease vector for Chikungunya and Dengue fever as well as the Zika virus.

Toxicology: Study of toxins, the poisonings they cause and their treatment; sub-field of pharmacology.

Transfluthrin: Chemical compound and insecticide from the pyrethroid group with a broad efficacy spectrum; acts as a contact or nerve poison and a repellent.

Trivoltine: In entomology, the designation for three complete generations per year.

Trophic: Relating to nutrition and food sources.

Trophic level: Position of an organism in the food chain or food web.

Union authorisation (biocidal products): Legally prescribed procedure before putting a biocidal product on the market in the entire EU zone and in only one step, i.e. without having to obtain a national authorisation.

Union list (biocidal active substances): List of active substances approved by the European Commission, which may be used in biocidal products and treated produce.

Univoltine: In entomology, the designation for one complete generation per year.

Vector: In biology and medicine, a carrier of pathogens that can trigger infections, e.g. mosquitoes, ticks, fleas.

Vector-borne diseases (VBD): Disease transmitted by an ectoparasite (vector), which triggers an infection, e.g. Dengue fever, Chikungunja fever or Lyme disease.

Vermin: Undesired small animals, which are considered by humans to be harmful, a nuisance or disgusting; often used in conjunction with arthropods, rodents, pests, bugs or disease carriers.

Virus: Small, infectious particle, which depends on the cells of other organisms for its propagation.

Water protection: Overall efforts to protect all waterbodies from any type of damage.

Xenogamy: Cross-pollination; transfer of pollen from a flower to the stigma of a different flower; can take place through water, wind, animals and human beings.

Zika virus (ZIKV): A virus belonging to the Flavivirus genus that is endemic to Africa and Southeast Asia, isolated for the first time in 1947 at a research centre in the Zika Forest (Uganda) and named after it; causes Zika fever and severe malformations in embryos (microcephaly); transmitted by mosquitoes, sexual contact, and by mothers to their own children.

Zoonosis: Infectious diseases that are transmitted from animals to human beings or from humans to animals; e.g. Lyme disease, rabies, Dengue fever.