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Attrathor insecticide from Ensystex uses mirco-capsule technology to deliver the active ingredient quickly and effectively. 

Ensystex released Attrathor Targeted Insecticide just over six months ago and in this surprisingly short time has established itself as the premier means of cockroach control, in preference to gel baits and liquid surface residual sprays.

Ensystex’s regional director, Steve Broadbent, advises, “Attrathor has revolutionised cockroach control by providing a targeted film application containing Quick-release Insect Attractant Micro-capsules with Controlled-release Active Micro-capsules of fipronil to give improved efficacy compared to that of gel baits and other sprays, and it is much quicker to apply.

“The Quick-release Insect Attractant Micro-capsules are tiny, 5μm capsules, which contain the liquid food attractant in a solid core matrix within a polymer shell. These tiny microcapsules have a large surface area relative to their volume, which allows for the quick release of the attractant. The attractant diffuses out through the shell, quickly luring the cockroaches to the Attrathor Target Zone.

“Recent observations of cockroaches at the Target Zone have also shown how Attrathor stimulates natural cockroach grooming behaviour leading to improved results. Cockroaches unknowingly pick up the microcapsules, which adhere to their body parts, legs and antennae. Cockroach grooming behaviour includes cleaning of their antennae, palpi and legs with their mouthparts; rubbing the head and the basal segments of the antennae with the forelegs; rubbing the abdomen and cerci with the hind legs; and rubbing the underside of the wings with the abdomen. Consequently the microcapsules adhere to these structures and are orally ingested where the fipronil works as a stomach poison.”

Close observation of cockroach grooming behaviour at the Target Zone, as well as the observation of two days after treatment mortality results, confirms the ease of attachment of the microcapsules to the cockroaches and the massive ingestion of capsules that occurs as a consequence. These studies have proven a double-action effect of the Insect Attractant Micro-capsules since, in addition to luring the insects to the Target Zone, they are working as a phagostimulant to increase cockroach grooming behaviour.

Attrathor contains both Quick-release Insect Attractant Micro-capsules along with Controlled-release Active Micro-capsules

“Oral intake of the fipronil therefore becomes a major factor in cockroach mortality, in addition to toxicity by contact exposure. This in turn causes the fast results obtained in the field. Peer-reviewed studies have confirmed the high effectiveness of Attrathor against multi-resistant strains of cockroaches (Rettich, Stejskal 2008). In this study F1-F3 generation adults were raised from a highly resistant field strain. Resistance was evaluated using the standard test of forced tarsal contact on insecticide-treated porous and non- porous tiles. Results of these evaluations showed high levels of resistance to deltamethrin and chlorpyrifos. Attrathor was then used to control the field populations with great success.”

Mr Broadbent continued by explaining, “The contact action of Attrathor arises from the Controlled-release Active Micro-capsules, which are 35-55μm liquid-core capsules containing the active fipronil. These microcapsules have a fine polymer shell, and trapped between the liquid fipronil core and the outer shell are tiny bubbles of CO2. These bubbles pressurise the microcapsules, ensuring that when the insect makes contact with them they burst open. This releases the fipronil, which is absorbed directly through the cuticle.

Oral intake of fipronil, in addition to toxicity by contact exposure, leads to the fast results

“Consequently, Attrathor uniquely provides both contact and oral kill of cockroaches. Cockroaches are lured to the Target Zone where, due to fipronil’s non-repellent chemistry, with its presence further concealed by the polymer coating of the capsules, the cockroaches remain totally unaware of its presence. Death then occurs either through contact action – as the fipronil passes into the cockroach through the cuticle when the microcapsules burst; or stomach action – as the cockroach grooms itself and breaks, or consumes the microcapsules laced with fipronil.

The Viral Transfer Effect also occurs when, through grooming, the cockroaches pass the Active Micro-capsules on to other cockroaches.”

Mr Broadbent concluded by noting, “The science behind Attrathor supports what so many professional pest managers are finding in the field – their experiences in controlling German cockroaches have been fantastic. We regularly hear reports from top companies that the time period between the application of Attrathor and good results has been as short as a couple of hours! The most important result of all though has been the customer satisfaction professionals encounter following the application of Attrathor.”