Delivering optimal cockroach control relies on applying the right product in the most effective manner.
Cockroach gel baits can deliver excellent control of a wide range of cockroach species, including German cockroaches. However, as with any pest treatment, excellent performance is not only achieved by choosing the correct product, but by ensuring the product is applied correctly. When it comes to cockroach control, optimal performance is achieved by choosing the correct sites for placement and ensuring sufficient bait is applied. What’s the best way to achieve this, especially when considering German cockroach management in commercial accounts?
It is always best practice to carry out an inspection prior to any treatment and this is especially the case for German cockroaches. Spending time with a good quality torch inspecting all cracks and crevices, and under and behind appliances and cupboards, is an essential first step to identify potential harbourages. But to confirm your suspicions and assess the size of the population (without applying insecticide), sticky traps are the ideal monitoring tool.
The use of sticky traps is a key element of Assessment Based Pest Management, a methodology championed by Professor Dini Miller from Virginia Tech in the US. If you don’t assess the population – its location and size – how do you know where to apply the product and how much product to apply? The continuing use of sticky traps in commercial accounts also allows the effectiveness of the treatment to be assessed over time – vital information to the pest manager and proof of effectiveness to the customer. For any regular service program, the use of sticky traps is a must for pest manager and customer.
Once the location and size of the population has been established, effective bait application can be carried out. Although every site is different, apart from standard ‘cracks and crevices’, a number of locations tend to be hotspots in food handling establishments:
- In and around dishwashers
- Underneath and around sinks and plumbing penetrations
- Around cooking appliances and extraction fans, especially those with a build-up of oil or fat
- In the cracks and crevices around food preparation areas, which may not get a regular thorough clean i.e. hidden areas around and under bar counters
- Hinges of cupboard doors
- Around the wheels of portable stands and benches
- Electrical junction boxes and plug sockets
- In and around both large and small (portable) appliances
- In food storage areas, especially amongst cardboard boxes
- In wall voids and above false ceilings.
Product label instructions typically direct for small dots or a line of gel to be applied near suspected harbourages. The information on population size from the sticky trap catch provides a good indication of how much gel to apply. Certainly, for clear-out situations it is better to apply more than less. One application tip promoted by Prof. Miller is the use of ‘bait tacos’. Rather than applying a line of gel directly to the surface, placing a line of gel on a small square of greaseproof paper provides several advantages. Firstly, it is a cleaner application, avoiding direct application to surfaces. Secondly, and more importantly, it allows the placement to be moved if a surface needs to be cleaned. If the bait isn’t eaten, it can easily be moved to another location (which avoids wasting bait).
Choice of product depends on the nature of the problem. When dealing with an infestation, when a clean-out is required, it is important to choose a premium, high performing gel. Maxforce Fusion with its high palatability ensures rapid feeding and fast distribution within the population. This is essential when there is the need to get the population under control quickly. In a maintenance type regime, when the objective is more about prevention, the use of a more economical gel, such as Maxforce Activ would be a better choice. With both products HACCP approved, pest managers have high performing gel bait options for all situations encountered in commercial accounts.
So, to deliver optimal cockroach control programs, the use of trusted products such as Maxforce cockroach baits is a great start. But understanding the nature of the problem through inspection and monitoring, with accurate placement of sufficient product, is essential for success.