By Dr. Tim Husen, Technical Services Representative, Syngenta Professional Pest Management
Controlling German cockroaches isn’t easy. If it was, services aimed at managing them wouldn’t make up about 15% of all general pest control revenues annually. Management programs using only one control method are often ineffective, resulting in a reservice to try once again to bring the population down to an acceptable level. This one-tool approach creates a reactive rather than preventive control program, which is the opposite goal of any assessment-based or integrated pest management (IPM) strategy.
German cockroaches are challenging to control for many reasons. They are a domesticated pest thriving in man-made harborages that provide food and water, warmth and breeding site safety (e.g. dark, protected voids). Additionally, their ability to reproduce is unmatched by all other structural- infesting cockroaches. The number of offspring a gravid female can produce plus the short amount of time between her eggs hatching to becoming reproductive adults often leads to infestations reaching hard-to-manage levels.
Management programs must use every tool available to succeed. Cultural control measures are the backbone of any German cockroach management program.
The most important PMP-based cultural control practice is the inspection. The inspection establishes management focus zones and helps build customer partnership on sanitation and breeding habitat exclusion. These are a must – you simply cannot make it easy for the cockroaches to thrive. Eliminating harborage options and reducing the amount of competitive food resources can decrease populations and often makes baiting management programs even more effective.
Beyond cultural control, there are many physical or chemical control options. Never forget the universally accepted pest control adage, “cockroaches never become resistant to a vacuum.” Two commonly used chemical control options are baits and insect growth regulators (IGRs). Using baits (granular, gel or dry-flowable/dust) is incredibly efficient and effective either as a stand-alone treatment or when incorporated with non-repellent liquid dilutable sprays.
Many baits, such as Advion® Cockroach gel bait or Advion MicroFlow insect bait, provide secondary and even tertiary level population control. Advion MicroFlow provides a residual bait option in cracks and crevices, voids or other harborage areas where applying traditional gel baits is impractical (e.g. it takes too much time to apply, inaccessibility, the gel dries out, etc.). Advion MicroFlow remains efficacious for up to one year in dry voids or cracks and crevices.
Having multiple preventive measures in your IPM strategy can mean the difference between multiple callbacks and successful control. For more information on developing an IPM approach, check out the SecureChoiceSM Cockroach Assurance Program. To learn more about the Advion brand line of products visit SyngentaPMP.com/Advion or contact your local territory manager.
Always consult the product label for complete use and application information.
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