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Baiting for success

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Annual COCKROACH Control Issue
Baiting for SucceSS
Which urban pest is the most difficult to control? Most
PMPs say ants.
But the answer to this question has shifted completely
over the past 20 years from cockroaches to ants. Today,
few people consider the German cockroach a difficult pest to
manage. What made the change is the invention of highly effec-
tive baits, in particular, gel baits. Then, the question is, why is
the German cockroach still common in urban areas? The Ger-
man cockroach’s small size, short life cycle, high reproductive
potential and resistance development are well-known factors
accounting for their success. However, a frequently ignored fac-
tor is poor pest control practices. Despite the plethora of effec-
tive tools and methods available, it is not uncommon to find
people, including professionals, relying on ineffective materials
or methods to treat cockroach infestations.
Studies have shown that an Integrated Pest Management
(IPM) approach incorporating bait and other non-chemical
By Changlu Wang, Narinderpal Singh, Richard Cooper and Clay Scherer
Research from Rutgers finds
a one-time application of
gel bait can achieve nearly
100 percent reduction in
cockroach numbers within
a month even without
changing the apartment
sanitation conditions.
methods can provide a high level of cockroach control (Miller
and Meek 2000, Wang and Bennett 2009). Baiting alone result-
ed in a more than 95 percent reduction of cockroaches in heav-
ily infested apartments (Wang and Bennett 2006, Wang 2011).
The high efficacy of gel bait is due to the palatable bait matrices,
non-repellent active ingredients, and, to some degree, the trans-
fer of bait active ingredients among individuals (Buczkowski et
al. 2008).
Sadly, these simple and effective strategies are ignored by or
are unknown to communities that still suffer chronic cockroach
infestations. Some professionals are not properly trained to use
these control strategies correctly. To demonstrate how cock-
roach bait can be effectively used to control cockroach infesta-
tions, we conducted a study in an apartment building. In the
study, we showed that one-time application of a gel bait product
provided 99 percent reduction in German cockroach counts af-
ter a four-week period.
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STUDY METHODS. We selected eight
apartments from a high-rise apartment
building in Newark, N.J. The sizes of
the apartments were 450 square feet (a
studio apartment) or 600 square feet (a
one-bedroom apartment). A contractor
hired by the property management of-
fice serviced the building monthly and
used insecticide sprays for cockroach
complaints. All apartments were occu-
pied by low-income senior citizens. Old
cockroach bait residues existed in four
apartments. Six apartments used aerosol
sprays for cockroaches.
Prior to the treatment, we placed six
Trapper Monitor & Insect Traps (Bell
Laboratories) in each apartment. Loca-
tions of the traps were: 1) inside the cabi-
netry under the kitchen sink, 2) in the
cabinetry above the kitchen sink, 3) be-
side the stove, 4) beside the refrigerator,
5) the living room corner near the dining
table or where food was served and 6) on
the floor behind the toilet. The pre-count
trapping interval varied between one and
eight days due to difficulties in gaining
access to two apartments, coupled with
low trap count in one apartment. The av-
erage daily trap catch of these apartments
ranged from 6 to 150 cockroaches with a
median count of 16.
One to two researchers from Rutgers
University applied Advion Cockroach Gel
Bait (Syngenta Professional Products) in
each apartment using a baiting gun or
plunger into cockroach harborages fol-
lowing the same pattern as that by Wang
(2010). The size of each bait placement
was about 0.1 g. The amount of bait used
in each apartment ranged from 18 to 87 g
with a median of 44 g. Median technician
time (time in each apartment × number
of technicians) spent treating each apart-
ment was 23 minutes. To evaluate effi-
cacy, we placed sticky traps at one, two,
three and four weeks post treatment and
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Week after treatment
Mean trap count reduction (%)
1
72%
88%
97% 99%
2 3 4
Figure 1. Ecacy of Advion gel bait treatment on German cockroach populations in apartments.
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collected the traps after one-to-eight days
as we did in the pre-treatment monitor-
ing. The total number of cockroaches
found in traps in each apartment was
compared with the pre-treatment count
to calculate percent reduction.
STUDY RESULTS. One application of
Advion Cockroach Gel Bait resulted in
72, 88, 97 and 99 percent mean cock-
roach count reduction at one, two, three
and four weeks post-treatment, respec-
tively (see Figure 1 on page 62). Among the
eight apartments, only two apartments
still had cockroaches after four weeks.
There were no noticeable changes in the
residents’ housekeeping practices. A few
apartments had clutter, spilled drinks
and accumulation of garbage in kitchens
and bedrooms throughout the study pe-
riod. These conditions created numerous
cockroach harborages and affected the
control efficacy. All residents were very
satisfied with the results.
CONCLUSIONS. Application of gel baits
is still the most effective chemical meth-
od for managing German cockroach in-
festations. A one-time application of gel
bait can achieve nearly 100 percent re-
duction in cockroach numbers within a
month without changing the apartment
sanitation conditions. The efficacy is de-
pendent on the applicator’s knowledge,
experience and using sticky traps for
monitoring cockroach distributions. An
IPM approach incorporating client edu-
cation, sanitation, decluttering, monitor-
ing traps and baiting is the key to long-
term control of German cockroaches.
Authors’ acknowledgement: This study was
sponsored by DuPont Professional Products,
now Syngenta Professional Products.
Changlu Wang, Narinderpal Singh and Richard
Cooper are with the Department of Entomol-
ogy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J. Clay
Scherer is with Syngenta Crop Protection.
RefeRences
Buczkowski, G., Scherer, C., and G. W. Ben-
nett. 2008. Horizontal transfer of bait in the
German cockroach: indoxacarb causes sec-
ondary and tertiary mortality. Journal of Eco-
nomic Entomology 101: 894-901.
Miller, D., and F. Meek. 2004. Cost and
efficacy comparison of integrated pest man-
agement strategies with monthly spray in-
secticide applications for German cockroach
(Dictyoptera: Blattellidae) control in public
housing. Journal of Economic Entomology. 97:
559-569.
Wang, C., and G. W. Bennett. 2006. Com-
parative study of integrated pest management
and baiting for German cockroach manage-
ment in public housing. Journal of Economic
Entomology 99: 879-885.
Wang, C., and G. W. Bennett. 2009. Cost
and effectiveness of community-wide inte-
grated pest management for German cock-
roach, cockroach allergen, and insecticide use
reduction in low-income housing. Journal of
Economic Entomology 102: 1614-1623.
Wang, C. 2010. When less is more. Pest
Control Technology 38(7): 72, 74, 76, 78.
64 /// july 2013 www.pctonline.com
... This may have to do with the high cockroach infestation rates and frequent re-infestations in apartment buildings. Cockroach baits have existed in the U.S. market for over 25 yr and are proven to be very effective for eliminating cockroach infestations (Appel 1992, Nalyanya et al. 2001, Appel 2003, Wang and Bennett 2006, Wang et al. 2013. However, 55% of the surveyed residents purchased insecticide sprays for control rather than baits in an effort to control cockroaches themselves. ...
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