German cockroaches: a formidable foe.
There seem to be no worries that German cockroaches are becoming extinct. In fact, the number and incidence of these pests on Pest Management Professional (PMP) accounts is on the rise. Thus, it’s time to sharpen your knowledge and skills to take on this formidable foe.
Below are some behavior facts that will help us better understand German cockroach traits and improve our chances of elimination:
- These cockroaches tend to exist within about 10 feet or less of their harborage area. The use of sticky trap monitors can help you pinpoint their source. If this is unsuccessful, do not keep going to the client and redoing the same thing. Sometimes, even in a small range, you may have to drill out a cinder block wall, open an electrical plate or obtain access into a suspended ceiling.
- These creatures are nocturnal and prefer to move around in darkness. When looking in a dark room or area, leave the lights off and use a flashlight to search. Once you find some German cockroaches, turn the lights on and watch where they scatter. They should lead you to their harborage areas.
- The carrying capacity of a German cockroach population is usually dependent on the number of harborage areas, rather than food and water. To reduce harborage sites, seal cracks and crevices where the cockroaches most likely harbor, or bag and seal large harborage areas like cardboard boxes. Areas that cannot be sealed, like electrical appliances, require the use of an insecticide product.
- Of all domestic cockroach species, German cockroaches have the highest reproductive rate. They mature very quickly (within 45 days) and continue to reproduce, so their numbers can easily skyrocket. Thus, until you completely eliminate a population, coming back on a quarterly basis is too long to wait between intervals. Don’t evaluate your control program by how many cockroaches are controlled, but rather by how many still remain. Use monitoring devices to prove you did a complete elimination job, or to pinpoint where more work is needed.
- German cockroaches prefer to feed on gel baits that retain their moist, soft gel texture. Advion® Cockroach gel bait from Syngenta Professional Pest Management exhibits these characteristics with its excellent initial bait acceptance, as well as its ability to retain its palatability for up to three months. My own alma mater, Purdue University, performed a study that shows when cockroaches are exposed to Advion Cockroach, the killing affect transfers across not one, but two generations.1
By knowing your enemy and utilizing their weaknesses, you can ensure success when going into battle with German cockroaches.
1 Buczkowski, G. Scherer, C. and Bennett, G. “Horizontal transfer of bait in the German cockroach: Indoxacarb causes secondary and tertiary mortality.” Journal of Entomology 101(3): 894-901.
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