Welcome to the KIDS ONLY!
Section of the Virginia Pesticide Safety Website

Insects can be fascinating to watch.  Butterflies flitter through the air as they move from flower to flower to collect nectar.  Dew drops glisten on spider webs hanging from bushes in the early morning sun.  A walking stick might be climbing up a tree outside the window.  Not only are insects fascinating to watch many are beneficial to our environment.  The honeybee, for example, is important to fruit and vegetable growers that rely on it to help pollinate their plants.  Other insects, however, can just be major pests.  Mosquitoes and ticks can bite you and spread diseases.  Wasps and hornets can sting.  Termites can cause damage to your home. 

Insects aren’t the only pests around you.  On the desk right in front of you there could be hundreds if not thousands of microscopic organisms known as bacteria and viruses which could cause sickness.  The vine growing up the tree in the backyard or at the playground could be poison ivy.  

brown bug
So what exactly is a pest?  A pest could be an insect, a plant, an animal or even something so small that you would need a microscope to see it.  Basically, a pest could be any living organism (other than a person) that is:
  1. Where it doesn’t belong
  2. Could cause harm or injury to a person, plant or animal or
  3. Could cause damage to property

Undesirable pests can be managed in different ways.  You will see the term integrated pest management discussed throughout the Virginia Pesticide Safety website.  Integrated pest management or IPM refers the steps or practices that are taken to control or manage a pest issue.  The purpose of IPM is to reduce the use of pesticides by considering all of the methods that could be used to control a pest.  You can learn more about IPM by clicking here and through some of the links provided below.

In some cases, pesticides are used as part of IPM, especially if the other steps are not effective.  Pesticides are substances or mixtures of substances that prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate any pest.  The term applies to products such as disinfectants, insecticides, weed killers or herbicides, fungicides and several other groups of chemicals.  If your family decides to use pesticides, remember to always read and follow the label.

By the way kids, just because you have your own webpage here, doesn't mean you shouldn't explore the rest of the website. The others pages on this site are not just for your parents and teachers. Hopefully, the things you learn from the resources on this page will encourage you to explore this website and learn more about pests and the best methods to manage them.

Below are links to websites which discuss IPM and the steps you can take to reduce the impact of pests in your home, yard and garden. 

red ant

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

HELP! It’s a Roach! -“A Roach Prevention Activity Web Site for Kids”  Roaches can spread disease and This website has “Fascinating Roach Facts”, a dot-to-dot game, printable coloring sheets, word searches and other fun activities related to roaches.
Interactive Mold House Tour -Learn about mold issues in your home and how they can be addressed.
Join Our Pest Patrol -A Backyard Activity Book for Kids on Integrated Pest Management

California Department of Public Health

Timothy Tickfinder: Don't Let the Ticks Bite - Learn about tick-bite prevention from these brochures, bookmarks, coloring pages and Word Searches available from the California Department of Health.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dangerous Creatures-A Visit to the CDC Insectary -This CDC video was written to educate young people from ages 8 to 12 about mosquitoes used for research at the CDC insectary. The video provides an overview of the mosquito breeding program and test conducted on moquitoes in research related to insecticide resistance.

Cornell University: Biological Control

Cornell University's Biological Control website provides information about natural pest enemies in North America. The games below are designed to be used in conjunction with the Elementary Guest Entomologists & Newly Trained Scientists (eGENTS) lesson plan available here.

BC-Bug-Play the role of a ladybug as it eats aphids from the plants in the garden. This game helps teach the concept of Biological Control agents to aid in managing damaging pests.
Weed-Feeders Game-Learn to use biological control agents to manage weeds in rangeland used to raise cattle.
Parasitoids Game-Play the role of a parisitic wasp as it uses its eggs to kill aphids that are attacking plants in a garden.


Fairfax County Disease Carrying Insects Program-Fight the Bite

The Disease Carrying Insects Program (DCIP) in Fairfax County has created a number of innovative resources to educate both children and adults about mosquitoes and ticks. Each of these insects are known vectors of human and animal diseases such as West Nile Virus and Lyme disease. Learn how to "Fight the Bite" and prevent the spread of these vector-borne diseases by visiting the DCIP website.

Below are some direct links to childrens' books developed by DCIP which are viewable online.

Martians Meet the Mosquitoes/Titan Takes on the Ticks
Sinister Secret of the Stinky Storm Drain
Buster in Fight the Bite
What's Buggin You? Mosquitoes and Ticks
The A-B-Cs of B-I-T-E-S
Ricky Beats the Birthday Bites

When viewing the books online, you should expand the flickr slide show to full screen mode then go to options and set the speed to slow.

IPM Institute of North America

IPM Super Sleuth – Learn about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices as you do word searches, crosswords, matching games and other activities.

Ledge Light Health District (New London, CT)

Lyme Disease Activity Book for Kids - Learn about Lyme disease and the vectors that spread it through this activty book which includes word searches, cross word puzzles, coloring pages and more.

Leon County Mosquito Control (Florida)

Mosquito Hawk Activity Book -Activity book containing various learning activities related to mosquito biology and control.

Penn State, Pesticide Education Program

D.B. Pest:  Up Close and Personal
Word Searches

icky blob

National Institutes for Health

Healthy Homes=Healthy Kids: Pest Control –This fact sheet answers questions about pesticides and their impact on our environment.

National Pest Management Association Inc. International (NPMA)

Pestworld for Kids –Learn to identify some common insect pests, play games and get help with school projects on this website designed for kids.
Pest Quest -A kids show “about bugs, rodents and more”.
Critter Crafts -Have fun crafting different "critters".
"The Pest Detectives" eBook -Join young Millie as she learns about pests with her father, a pest management professional.
"The Uninvited Houseguest" eBook-Join 9-year old Nate as he and his family discover a mouse in their house. Millie, the Pest Detective, and her pest professional father return for this second installment in the series.

National Wildlife Federation

Termite Maze Game-Navigate your way through an underground maze as a "baby termite".
Batty Bug Eater - A word search which looks at bugs a bat eats.

Find more games on the National Wildlife Federation's Animal and Nature Games for Kids website.

San Diego Vector Control Program (California)

SD Swat Team Kids Website

San Diego Zoo Kids Site

Arthropods-This section of the San Diego Zoo website looks at various arthropods
Activities - Kids will find find crafts and activities including Itsy, Bitsy Spider, Fuzzy Caterpillar and Tissue Butterfly crafts which aid in learning about these creatures.

Texas A & M AgriLife Extension

Mosquito Safari - Learn more about mosquitoes in this interactive online game.

Hungry PestU.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Hungry Pests Kids Activities-Learn more about how to prevent the spread of invasive species. Solve puzzles, play games, color and enjoy other art related activities. The site also includes a nature walk video, trivia game and memory game.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

ToxMystery –An interactive tour of a virtual home which looks at toxic substances, including pesticides, which can be found in and around the home.
brown bug

University of Michigan

Biokids -Kids Inquiry of Diverse Species - Learn about different animal species including insects and arachnids using the Critter Catalog and Field Guides.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Pest Private Eye –An online game to test your investigative skills while learning about pest and IPM tools.

University of Rhode Island-Tick Encounter Resource Center

The Tick Encounter Resource Center website is full of information about ticks and the diseases they spread. They have developed several games to teach young people about how to identify ticks and how to protect themselves from ticks.
Tick Anatomy
Name the Parts of a Tick
Billy's Maze
Word Search
Tick Danger Zones
Find the Ticks
Memory Quiz

Virginia Department of Health

Children’s Activity: Mosquitoes –learn about where mosquitoes grow and live as well as some interesting facts.  This website includes a Mosquito Word Search.

Other Youth Resources:

KidsHealth from The Nemours Foundation

What to Do When You’re Bugged by Bugs –An article discussing biting or stinging insects and how to recognize and prevent their bites and stings.
When Bugs are Buzzing –Have you been bitten by a bug?  This website has articles related to specific biting insects.
Poison Ivy –An article which discusses poisonous plants such as poison ivy and the chemical that causes rashes.