Magnathor Magnetic offers a novel way to bait cockroaches in particularly challenging commercial accounts.

Magnathor Magnetic Insecticide, powered by fipronil, uses a totally innovative concept to give improved results against the toughest cockroaches, even in harsh commercial environments. Magnathor Magnetic contains a patented carrier, Magthanite, a specialist magnetic, ferro-sillicate powder developed for the modern electronics industry. It is a blend of strontium ferrite with iron, silicon, aluminium, zinc and calcium oxides.

Magnathor Magnetic is available in packs of 4 x 30g tubes

This means that, uniquely, Magnathor Magnetic employs the power of paramagnetism – the weak magnetic attraction shown by most elements and some compounds in the presence of a magnetic field.

Several species of social insects have been shown to use the earth’s magnetic field to help them to orientate and navigate whilst foraging, migrating and building their nests. This appears to be linked to the presence of particles of magnetite in their bodies (Ferreira et al., 2005). Magnetite consists of ferrous ferric oxide, a highly magnetic substance that generates its own magnetic field. The magnetic remanence (strength) is low, of the order of 10-6 emu per individual, but sufficient to provide a slight negative charge to the exoskeleton of the insect.

The effects of this magnetism have been demonstrated in numerous experiments, which have shown that there is a clear attraction between ferromagnetic particles and insect pests, and most importantly, that this effect can be utilised for their control.

This magnetic powder has been shown to have enhanced pick-up by the insect cuticle. Tests by Smith and Moores at the Rothamsted Experimental Station, UK, showed that cockroaches passing over a residual deposit of the magnetic carrier used in Magnathor picked up an average of 56% more particulate material than those passing over a deposit of inert talc. In a further test comparing inert talc and this ferromagnetic carrier, they found that 250% more ferromagnetic carrier was transferred between cockroaches.

Magnathor Magnetic was featured in the paper ‘Evaluating a new concept in cockroach baiting’, which Steve Broadbent, Ensystex regional director, was invited to present at the recent International Conference on Urban Pests (ICUP) held at Aston University in the UK. The novel nature of this technology was appreciated and gained strong international interest.

Magnathor Magnetic is now registered for cockroach and ant elimination. It is a dry, flowable bait that contains a desirable blend of food attractants that lure the foraging cockroaches or ants towards the ‘Magnathor Kill Zone’. As they approach the Kill Zone, the cockroaches literally act like a magnet and draw the Magnathor Magnetic particles towards their exoskeletons. Magnathor Magnetic enters the insects’ bodies through the soft membranes in the exoskeleton, resulting in their death.

When applied to ant colonies or cockroach aggregates, Magnathor Magnetic activates a ‘Magnetic Multiple Cascade Transfer Effect’ – a three-level mortality transfer chain. Primary kill occurs when Magnathor Magnetic is directly applied to the pest insects; passive kill occurs when insects are lured into treated cracks and crevices; and magnetic transfer kill occurs where the magnetic powder transfers from one insect to the next. An ant or cockroach simply has to move into close proximity to an infected insect for transfer to occur.

When compared with conventional gel baits, dusts and powders, the magnetic properties of Magnathor Magnetic deliver superior results in the two critical areas of adhesion and transferability, resulting in accelerated kill.

German cockroaches are gregarious, often spending up to 75% of their lifetime at rest deep in harbourages. As traditional gel baits have a limited range of attraction, they often fail to lure cockroaches out of deep refuges. Since Magnathor Magnetic is a dry, flowable bait, it travels deep into cracks, crevices and other harbourages, allowing treatment of places those hard to reach places in commercial accounts, which cannot be reached with other baits. This is a distinct advantage within commercial kitchens, where other products can be washed away by during the regular cleaning regimes.

In addition, some strains of cockroach have shown resistance to gel bait treatments through developed bait aversion behaviour. This is particularly the case in regularly serviced commercial accounts with high pest pressure, where there tends to be high bait usage. By developing a bait matrix in which consumption is not a primary factor for uptake, improved control of cockroaches has been achieved with Magnathor Magnetic.

Dion Alderton, Market Manager, Ensystex

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