Gel baits allow for swift and discreet treatment of cockroach infestations – a far cry from the old days of pest management. 

The earlier days in pest management included a routine for German cockroach management that many of today’s pest managers have never experienced — night work. Working at night wasn’t just common; it was expected. Initial services to commercial accounts (e.g. food service, food manufacturing and commercial kitchens) were scheduled after closing. These services were routinely scheduled to begin after the cleaning crews were finished, which sometimes meant a start time of 2:00am.

The service was usually performed by a team of multiple technicians, with each technician assigned a duty (i.e. one on dusts, one on aerosols, another on sprays and one on fogging). The customer was required to complete a complex preparation process to provide access to treatment sites and prevent food/utensil/appliance contamination. It was not unusual for teams to be literally locked into the account location by the manager while performing the service, then ‘freed’ when he/she returned hours later.

To say this method was a burden is an understatement. Even when compensated, night work stressed technicians, especially since this process was complex to perform, and regular routes still needed to be maintained. Frequent rescheduling was common due to customer operations and non-compliance with preparation requirements.

The development of cockroach baits and the efficacy these formulations deliver have all but eliminated the burden of night work in German cockroach management.

Application of baits is discrete and precise, allowing application to be carried out during the day, without the need for lengthy customer preparations. However, bait selection is an important consideration in commercial account when there is regular applications, often once a quarter, or sometimes more frequently.

If there is a significant cockroach infestation or you have been called into a new account with a problem, it is often best to bring out the big guns. Maxforce Gold, which uses fipronil as its active ingredient, is a high performance gel, ideal for clean outs in commercial accounts.

However, management of a problem in an existing account is often best tackled with Maxforce Fusion (imidacloprid), with its exceptional palatability to nymphs. It ensures you can get on top of any problem quickly by targeting all life stages.

But often management of commercial accounts is all about prevention. In regular servicing situations, more economical gels are also important to maintain profitability. In such circumstances, Maxforce Activ (clothiadin) is a great option. Indeed Maxforce Activ, with its hypoallergenic formulation is ideal for sensitive, food industry accounts.

We all know we should rotate bait formulations regularly. Not only is it important to rotate between products with different actives to avoid the development of resistance, but choosing formulations with differing bait matrices avoids the potential to develop bait aversion. With Bayer having three different cockroach gel formulations, each with a different combination of active and bait matrix, pest managers have all the options they need.

Although gels have made treatments a lot easier for pest managers, it still may be necessary to do the occasional antisocial night time visit. If you have a new account or a problem that is difficult to control, a nocturnal inspection can be very revealing.

Daryle Swarz, National Pest Market Manager, Bayer

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