The development of cockroach bait formulations has changed the culture of cockroach control and stimulated the development of other bait formulations targeted against important pests, including ants, crickets, silverfish and flies. Effective cockroach baiting is a skill set that must be taught and practiced to achieve results that help maintain satisfied customers. Here are tips:
- Remember the limitations of cockroaches when detecting and feeding on roach bait placements. Cockroaches generally aren’t aware of what’s present or happening beyond a few inches away from them. Roach baits are designed to be attractive, but there’s a limit to the distance a roach can detect bait. Place baits as close as possible or directly into harborage sites. Intercept cockroaches between where they live and where they find resources such as food and water. Use monitoring results to determine the best locations for baiting.
- When using cockroach bait gels, apply multiple spots rather than long lines or beads of bait. German cockroaches like to feed from an edge, and American roaches prefer to stand over their food and not share it. Don’t fall into a habit of caulking areas with gel baits.
- Be mindful of the size of the target species. When confronted with an infestation of American roaches, for example, adjust the rate of application (spot size and/or number of placements). These large insects consume a considerably larger amount of bait compared to German or brown-banded cockroaches.
- Protect food because cockroach baits have to compete against naturally occurring foods. Placement is important, but remember the placement is subject to environmental compromise. For example, application on hot surfaces might cause a gel to run, melt or even burn, which alters the attractiveness. Dust and moisture can change the palatability of baits, as well. Cleaners and sanitizers can contaminate baits. In harsh microenvironments, consider using ready-to-use cockroach bait stations rather than gel baits. Another consideration — especially effective for outdoor roach baiting — is using insect bait stations that will protect a gel or granular cockroach baits.
- Once crisis populations of cockroaches have been eliminated, consider maintaining control with cockroach bait stations. Many pest management professionals (PMPs) have forgotten the contribution and value bait stations provide in long-term maintenance. Roach bait stations are attractive and effective for long periods of time and are perfect sentinels to catch any new roaches that might invade from outside or on incoming goods.
With the proper understanding of the features and benefits of cockroach baits, PMPs can deliver results that will keep customers satisfied and roach-free.