Which is the hardest cockroach to kill?


February 23, 2018

  • If you can always find a couple of roaches every time and they’re in the same general vicinity, it’s a pretty safe bet you need to change something.

  • Every cockroach treatment method has factors that can be fine-tuned for optimum control.

What are your next steps for an account that just can’t get to zero cockroach sightings?
Photo: ©istock.com/ErikKarits

The hardest cockroach to kill is the last one. Just when you think they’re gone, you get a call. Most of the cockroaches are gone and you told the client that this can drag out, but this is ridiculous.

How does this happen? Let’s look at the possibilities:


For baiting operations, you may be dealing with bait aversion. It’s true that bait aversion looks just like poor baiting techniques, so review your techniques and confirm that you have placed sufficient bait in all the areas the cockroaches are found. If you haven’t already done so, validate your bait by offering it to any cockroaches you find during service. If they aren’t eager to come eat the bait when it’s delivered to their door, they may not be eating it at all when you’re gone.

In preparation for the initial service, take in a variety of baits and choose the bait they attack with enthusiasm. It makes no sense to commit several tubes of bait to an account if the only one excited about the bait is you.


If you are using contact insecticides, it indicates there is a harborage you haven’t found yet. It may be a space in construction that doesn’t make sense. Use your X-ray vision to see behind the walls for unexpected constructions. If you don’t have X-ray vision, use your imagination.

If you suspect an area of harboring cockroaches, use insect monitors to confirm your suspicions. Don’t be afraid to drill a hole in a wall or two to get to voids that are difficult to access. Let the client know at the outset that a little drilling may be necessary. Once you have an access point, deep harborages can be thoroughly treated using dust or an injected ultra low-volume (ULV) application. In my opinion, dust is the better choice in most cases, but an injected ULV application has a mind-blowing ability to travel long distances.

The human factor

If there are only one or two cockroaches at a time and the sightings are scattered, consider that they are being brought in.

Use insect monitors in storerooms to watch for cockroaches brought in on stock.

If the account had a significant infestation before you started, it’s likely there are some staff members that are infested at home. The insect monitors in locker rooms, lunchrooms and break areas may be active if this is the case.

Of course, we all know that sanitation is key. The cleaner the facility is, the quicker the cockroaches will be eliminated.

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