By Dr. Austin Frishman, Ph.D.
My initial reaction when insect growth regulators (IGRs) first appeared in urban pest management was, "why bother? Just knock out the entire population with a conventional insecticide.” Then results started coming in from the pest management professionals: using IGRs along with conventional residual insecticides gave better control and fewer callbacks. Success brings attention, and today most of us understand the importance of IGRs as a critical tool in solving many arthropod situations.
Why should you consider using an IGR?
Think of an IGR as an added defense to crush an insect population. If conventional pesticides do not reach your target pest, then it is free to survive, thrive and reproduce. IGRs help break the life cycle of insects so they never make it to adult stages, or if they do, they cannot reproduce. The shorter the life cycle of an insect, the faster you’ll see results.
IGRs work best when injected deep into wall voids where pests may be pocketed in large numbers. In older buildings that have two or more wall voids, harborages may be deep enough that a residual insecticide can’t reach the population. IGRs with molecular vapor pressure help reach these insects, and the immatures are prevented from maturing.
Archer anticipates pests' behaviors
Archer® IGR is labeled for control of mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, cockroaches and more. It can be used indoors and outdoors and does not rapidly break down in sunlight.
Its label indicates that it should not be applied directly into water, so you might ask, “how does it reach the larvae of pests like mosquitoes?” The formulation of Archer takes pests’ behaviors into consideration. Mosquitoes capable of carrying the Zika virus (the Asian tiger mosquito and yellow fever mosquito) can transfer the IGR by first coming in contact with it on vegetation that has been treated. While depositing eggs in different locations, mosquitoes will also deposit small amounts of Archer near the eggs before they are placed near the water. These low concentrations of Archer are enough to disturb the life cycle of mosquitoes.
Q&As about the Archer label
Q: Can Archer be applied to large areas, such as carpets?
A: Yes, but only when treating carpet beetles, fleas and ticks.
Q: Why is it necessary to know how many square feet and/or linear feet you are going to treat before applying?
A: In all application directions on the label, you are required to apply X amount per cubic foot or square feet. The amount varies depending on the target site, pest and whether the application is indoors or outdoors.
Q: Can Archer be mixed with residual insecticides?
A: Yes, as long as the label of the residual insecticide states it can be mixed with other products. Demand® CS and Demon® WP insecticides are acceptable products for mixing. Keep in mind that in some states, the target pest and target site must be on both products you mix, so always understand state requirements before mixing and applying.
Q: Can Archer be used in food-handling establishments?
A: Yes, Archer is approved for use in food and non-food storage and preparation establishments, as directed by the product label.
Just killing adult pests is not the answer; you have to reach the immature stages. In addition to using an IGR, always make sure your control program includes inspection, working with the customer and pinpointing your treatments to ensure the most success.
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