There was a time when cockroach control was focused around baseboard spraying. Sometime later, it was focused on crack-and-crevice treatments. Then, insect growth regulators (IGRs) were introduced — and adding them meant the application device went back toward a compressed air sprayer.
At some point, baits were introduced. I used baits (in the form of MRF 2000) when I first started my business. This paste bait was applied to the corners and crevices in cabinets in large numbers. I remember baiting 80 to 100 areas inside a single apartment, because apartments were what I serviced a lot when I first started.
Materials and methods have continued to evolve and cycle. I think baits are still a great way to control cockroaches. Dr. Dini Miller has done some excellent research on the use of baits, and has developed a methodology of placing the bait into a small square of wax paper and forming it into a ‘taco’ with the bait inside.
(Editor’s Note: Read more about this research at “Added Value: Leave the Bait Gun, Take the Cannoli“)
Her research is showing that in the worst environments, this method is providing excellent control. Due to my own experience and her recent research, I would still list baits at the top of my list for German cockroach control.
The key to success is many bait placements. If you don’t supply enough ‘food’ for the entire population, the survivors will rebuild very quickly. And if the food is all in one area — fewer big placements instead of many small placements, for example — you will struggle with control.
JENKINS is president of ABC Home & Commercial Services, Dallas, Texas. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.