What if you can’t get customer cooperation? Dr. Dini Miller, a Pest Management Professional Hall of Famer (Class of 2019) and professor of entomology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg, Va., developed a cockroach baiting technique that is especially effective when treating multi-unit housing facilities.
“Do not continuously blame the resident for your failure to eliminate cockroaches,” she says. “A resident’s lack of sanitation has been the excuse for cockroach control failure for 30 years, when in fact the problem is underselling the job so the technician has only three minutes to treat each unit.”
The technique Dr. Miller developed involves adding gel bait to a 2×2-inch piece of waxed paper folded into a taco shape. She advises against asking residents to clean or empty cabinets before placing the “tacos” because you want the cockroaches to be “happy and hungry.” The bait tacos can be prepared in advance, which is especially helpful when servicing large accounts.
Dr. Miller recommends placing monitors overnight to determine how much bait is needed based on population size, documenting the number of cockroaches on the traps. She also advises sharing the figures with building management to show the number of cockroaches decreases over time.
Dr. Miller has used this technique with great success. “I can eliminate German cockroach infestations without the resident doing anything,” she says. “You can, too.”