By Dr. Austin M. Frishman
Around 40 years ago, I lead a research team that successfully launched a groundbreaking bait for German cockroaches. Since then, the industry has evolved, and pest management professionals (PMPs) now have access to a variety of baits and other cockroach solutions.
That said, a complete elimination of cockroaches usually doesn’t happen with one visit or treatment. By understanding common scenarios that have presented problems before, we can figure out possible solutions and additional steps for achieving success.
Common scenarios to look for:
- Infestations that have been entrenched for a long period of time
- New cockroaches coming from nearby buildings, filling the void you created
- Poorly sanitized areas where grease and dust are affecting the bait’s efficacy
- Underestimating the amount of bait needed, leaving cockroaches without bait to eat
- Bait contaminated with odor from other pesticides
- Flushing cockroaches with repellent products
- Using the same bait for over six months, resulting in behavioral and/or chemical resistance
Possible solutions to consider:
- Store bait in tightly sealed containers that are isolated from other pesticides
- Vacuum heavy, exposed populations to prevent them from eating all the bait
- This also keeps them from moving into bait stations and defecating on the bait, making it less palatable
- Use an electric drill to get into voids
- Pull appliances away from walls to access hard-to-reach sources
- Treat the exterior of buildings
- Use sticky traps to identify outliers
- Conduct additional inspections and monitoring as needed
- Schedule follow-up treatments (typically three or four within a four-week period) to prevent rebounding by the surviving cockroaches
- Rotate bait with a different chemistry about once every three months
Remember that baiting for cockroaches is not simple. PMPs have a difficult, but very important job when it comes to managing and eliminating cockroach infestations. Be prepared by having a keen mind and strong desire to achieve success, and don’t use excuses like poor sanitation and premises restrictions. With the right tools, you can successfully bait for cockroaches and satisfy your customers. Long live PMPs!
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