Managing cockroaches with bait formulations has become the norm for pest management professionals. The development of these products has provided the pest control industry with market-pleasing efficacy while creating value for PMPs by changing the culture of structural cockroach management. Few would want to return to the days of night service, clean-out teams and complicated preparation and clean-up requirements. As research provides more information on gel bait aversion and insecticide resistance in cockroaches, conducting fundamental core practices will keep baits effective and showcase the value PMPs deliver to customers. These core practices include the following:
// UNDERSTAND TARGETS Invest in learning the fundamentals of biology and behaviour of target roach species. German cockroach management differs from American cockroach management because these species live differently.
// DON’T OVERESTIMATE BAIT ATTRACTION Bait advertising touts the attractiveness of bait formulations. However, a bait cannot be attractive if it is placed outside of the sensory range of a PMP’s targets. It’s important for a PMP to remember the biological limits of his/her targets.
// CORRECTLY PLACE BAITS Place baits directly into, or as close as possible to, cockroach harborage sites. The goal is to have target roaches find baits before they find competing foods as they forage.
// FIND HARBORAGE SITES Execute an aggressive inspection and monitoring program, and maintain it continually. Cockroaches typically harbor in micro environments that are dark, humid and in close proximity to food. Utilize monitor traps to provide information about activity, trends in population growth or decline, and indicators of new introductions/activity. Place sufficient numbers of monitors and maintain or replace them as necessary. Use monitors for positive identification of species.
// APPLY APPROPRIATE AMOUNTS OF BAIT Start with label directions as a guide. Determine the area of the zone (e.g., kitchen sinks and attached cabinets) to provide a limit on the total bait allowed to be placed in the area. Apply the minimum amount of bait that corresponds to the size of the population as determined by inspection and trap counts. Be prepared to return in a short period of time (one week or less) for potential re-baiting if the population is high, the treatment site is critical to the overall management strategy or the account is complaining of activity. If old, dried-out bait is present, remove it if possible.