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                                Photos Courtesy of Univar USA

     Probably the most hearty and persistent pest on earth, cockroaches are the most loathsome creatures to many of us. The principal cockroach pest, the German Cockroach, is not just annoying, but presents a true health hazard. Besides spreading disease, they have been linked to allergies in humans.

    The German Cockroach is not difficult to find. Though they tend to hide during the day, if one knows where to look, it's not hard to find them. Their dislike for light and their nocturnal behavior requires the use of a flashlight and perhaps a mirror to locate hiding places. One of the most common areas to look is under a sink cabinet or in the back of kitchen cabinets. Yet cockroaches may be found almost anywhere. A good imagination and lots of careful examination will locate these creatures.

Baiting: A New Era In Pest Control

    We used to suggest that people do several things to help control cockroaches.  Now with the advent of cockroach gel baits, we suggest that you first apply one of these products.  After the cockroaches have been eliminated,  try to follow the integrated pest management (IPM) recommendations below to help insure that cockroaches don't return. 

    We have been selling gel baits for many years.   These products contain highly attractive food for cockroaches as well as a slow acting insecticide.   Individual insects that eat the bait may affect others by contact so that they become "distributors" of the active ingredient in the gel, which helps to control immature roaches as well.  Based on feedback from both professional applicators and individuals, we feel that this is the most effect treatment currently available.  Nine out of ten users are very happy with the results

    The first product that we sold, MaxForce Bait Gel, contained hydramethylnon and  affected cockroaches within 3 to 5 days.   Currently, Maxforce FC Bait Gel (Fast Control) , which contains fipronil and begins controlling cockroaches within 1 to 2 days is a worthy replacement and we continue to hear praise for this product line.   In some ways, the application of this product is a bit more labor intensive, but there are many benefits:  

  • It is placed in limited areas minimizing exposure to people and their pets.  
  • No offensive odor from the product.   
  • Most people will not notice or be affected by the product's odor.
  • The treatment may be made without massive preparation (it's actually best to leave things undisturbed).  Cockroaches are likely to contact placements made close to where insects or their droppings are present.
  • The percentage of active ingredient in Maxforce FC Bait Gel, is very small (0.01% = 1/100th of a percent) minimizing the risk of accidental poisoning.
  • This is a cockroach elimination with this product.  It may remain effective for up to 6 weeks or longer if left undisturbed. 

    The product comes in ready-to-use plastic syringes.  Application for moderate infestations consists of squeezing out several small, 1/4" - 1/2" lines in cockroach habitats.  For heavy infestations, apply additional amounts relative to the number of cockroaches.   Placements may be made wherever there are cockroach droppings or in any areas where cockroaches congregate.  Place these near cracks, but don't use the product to fill cracks.  Because cockroaches are corner-centric, concentrate applications in those areas.  The product label provides application instructions.

    Some of the common places to treat include areas such as under sink cabinets (including spots on top of pipes) or vanities, around door hinges, near or inside appliances, above drop ceiling frames and inside dresser or night table drawers.  The idea is to place the food where the cockroaches are without blocking or interfering with their normal activities.  As with any other pest control product, careful placement is the key to getting maximum results.  But, as with any other pesticide, be sure to make placements out of reach of pets and children.

    One important point: it is better to have a lot a small placements rather than a few large placements.

    If you would like more information on MaxForce FC Bait Gel, click here.

 

Things To Do To Help Prevent Future Infestations 

    Assuming you have been successful with a bait gel application, there are some steps to take to help prevent future infestations.  These are things that we used to suggest doing before the treatment: 

    A primary goal is to try to eliminate harborage areas.  Go through cabinets and drawers in all rooms and eliminate the clutter of items such bags, envelopes and other items of paper or soft plastic.  Other harborages that require attention include cracks such as in areas where pipes or utilities enter the room or where moldings meet the floor.  Seal those with durable caulking.  Be sure to remove consumed plastic roach bait units (if you have used these in the past) and remove food containers awaiting recycling. Taking these steps helps to create a more stressful environment for this insect thus making them more vulnerable to control measures.

    Cleaning of roach droppings (fecal pellets) with detergents and disinfectants helps to deter cockroaches and confuses them (heavy accumulations may need to be scraped off).  Cockroaches can communicate using the droppings in areas to let others know that this where their droppings are is "OK" and signal "neighborhood" areas for gathering.    Cockroach droppings contain an aggregate pheromone which attracts roaches and causes the clustering often observed.   But cockroaches do not nest as there is not social order and no queen.

    Finally, consider monitoring for cockroaches by using glue traps in key areas to help alert you to an impending problem.

Products

    We know that we have a responsibility to everyone we interact with to be sure they understand that by nature, pesticides cannot be non-toxic. However, there are some product which are less toxic than others.   That is a major reason that we are recommending Maxforce FC Bait Gel over all other product types.  

If you still have some safety concerns about using the MaxForce FC Gel, the next best approach would be the Maxforce FC Roach Bait Stations.  Each station contains a hardened, cookie like version of the gel with the same active ingredient.  Although the food in the stations is not quite as attractive as the moist gel, with proper placement and in quantities large enough for the population of cockroaches present, one should still expect good results.  The stations need to be checked periodically (you can see through the red top with a strong flashlight) and replaced once empty since the empty stations can become a harborage for roaches.

      We offer another bait form: a granular bait called Maxforce Complete.   This product contains a variety of grit sizes that would appeal to all of the common cockroach species.   The product is weather resistant and can be used in damp areas or outdoors.

    However, we know that some people are more comfortable with the traditional control products and that is why we offer a variety of pest control products for cockroaches including residual sprays such as Permacide P-1, crack and crevice aerosols such as Whitmire PT P.I., indoor room foggers such as Pro Control Plus and dust products such as Alpine Dust Insecticide and Drione.  You may click here to view our entire products page.

    If you have any other questions, or need some guidance selecting from our product line, don't hesitate to contact us.  You can reach us toll free at 800-433-1128 or 845-356-2837 weekdays between 8 am and 4 pm ET.  You may also send a fax to 845-746-9018 or you can leave E-Mail at drbugclinic@bugclinic.com.

    If you do not receive a reply, please let us know by resubmitting your letter.  We get a huge amount of unsolicited mail and we may accidentally overlook your inquiry.