CHICAGO, Ill. – While bed bugs and invasive ants are notoriously difficult to control, German cockroaches don’t take a back seat to any of their entomological “brethren” when it comes to resisting the industry’s latest control efforts, which is why Bayer recently invited some of the country’s leading PMPs to America’s “Second City” to unveil the newest weapon in its product arsenal — Maxforce Impact Roach Gel Bait.
Introduced in July, Maxforce Impact is the latest in a long line of innovations from one of the industry’s best-known brands, a technology first introduced in 1984 following pioneering work by Dr. Austin Frishman, a well-known figure in the pest management industry.
“It marks a real milestone for the Maxforce brand,” observed Bayer Business Operations Director Chris Pienaar, who welcomed attendees to the two-day event, which included a Chicago Cubs baseball game viewed from a rooftop location across the street from iconic Wrigley Field.
The most recent iteration of the constantly evolving Maxforce brand is “a new formulation specially designed for modern bait rotation strategies,” said Dr. Byron Reid, product development manager, Bayer.
The new formulation is not reliant on simple sugars, which have “selected” for bait aversion in the past, but contains more complex carbohydrates and phyto-lipids, resulting in a highly palatable bait matrix that results in enhanced control, according to Bayer.
In addition, Maxforce Impact features a new active ingredient, clothianidin, a synaptic poison that can be rotated with fipronil- and indoxacarb-based baits, which utilize a different mode of action than Maxforce Impact, thereby preventing cross-resistance.
Maxforce Packaging Features informational Icons
Bayer recently incorporated several icons into its Maxforce packaging, as well as its labeling, to help educate PMPs about how its products can be used most effectively. The icons designate the type of service regimen best suited for each particular product, whether it be cockroach cleanouts, maintenance programs or rotational strategies.
For instance, for cleanouts the company recommends Maxforce FC Magnum; for rotational strategies, Maxforce Impact; and for maintenance accounts, Maxforce FC Select.
“Every great brand evolves,” said Ray Daniels, senior product marketing specialist, Bayer, “so this is the latest evolution of the Maxforce brand. We think these icons will result in less confusion at the point of purchase for PMPs. We call it the food pyramid of a roach’s final meal.”
The product also features a proprietary feeding stimulant, encased in the company’s controlled-release BlueBead technology that “assures excellent bait acceptance,” according to Reid, while also visually differentiating the product from other baits. “We wanted to make sure that it was easy to tell the difference between Maxforce Impact and competitive products because one roach bait looks pretty much like the next roach bait,” he said.
In addition, Maxforce Impact has been granted “Reduced Risk” status by the EPA and does not contain any of the “Big 8” allergens, making it an attractive control option for use in food and pharmaceutical plants, schools, health-care facilities, nursing homes and government buildings, according to Bayer. No personal protective equipment (PPE) is required when applying the product.
Maxforce Impact also features a number of improved physical properties, including both heat and cold tolerance. “Even at 130°F, there are no drips or dribbles from the applicator,” Reid observed. “And gels applied to hot surfaces don’t run or slide out of place.” In addition, should a technician leave the product in their vehicle in the middle of winter, “it will come back to life after long storage in cold temperatures,” he said.
History of Resistance.
Prior to introducing Maxforce Impact to the marketplace, several well-known industry figures shared insights about two important topics of interest to PMPs offering commercial pest management services — the historical evolution of bait technology and the impact of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the role of IPM in food-processing facilities — providing Commercial Innovation Forum attendees with both an “inside” and “outside” perspective of the industry, according to Ray Daniels, senior product marketing specialist, Bayer.
Dr. Michael Rust, distinguished professor, University of California (Riverside), said there has been a “paradigm shift” in the way PMPs control cockroaches in commercial accounts during the past 30 years. The industry has moved from broad-based application of pesticides (i.e., fogging, baseboard spraying, etc.) in these accounts to targeted applications of cockroach bait to key harborage sites.
Rust said cockroach baits are highly effective for a number of reasons including: cockroaches readily transport bait back to harborage sites; cockroaches transfer the active ingredient to other members of the colony, resulting in secondary kill (the so-called “Domino Effect”); and manufacturers are constantly improving the industry’s cockroach bait offerings.
Resistance vs. cross-resistance
Resistance may be defined as “a heritable change in the sensitivity of a pest population that is reflected in the repeated failure of a product to achieve the expected level of control when used according to the label recommendation for that pest species.” Cross-resistance occurs when resistance to one insecticide confers resistance to another insecticide, even where the insect has not been exposed to the latter product. Because pest insect populations are usually large in size and they breed quickly, there is always a risk that insecticide resistance may evolve, especially when insecticides are misused or over-used. (Source: Insecticide Resistance Action Committee)
Yet like any technology, if overused, resistance can quickly develop. To prevent the onset of resistance, Rust — who has spent years studying this complex topic — recommends PMPs do three things: (1) add products containing different active ingredients to their company’s control arsenal; (2) select products featuring various bait matrices; and (3) rotate products every three to four months. Such an approach will not only prevent physiological and behavioral resistance in cockroach populations, he said, but cross-resistance as well.
“We don’t want the next generation (of roaches) being exposed to the same bait material,” Rust said. “That is the reason for the three- to four-month regimen.”
A valuable resource PMPs can utilize to better understand the issue of cross-resistance, according to Rust, is a poster from the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) listing the mode of action for various active ingredients used in the structural pest control industry. The “Mode of Action Classification” poster is available at: www.irac-online.org/documents/moa-structures-poster-english/?ext=pdf.
Rust also recommended PMPs consider the use of “choice cards” as a simple way for technicians to perform a “quick bait acceptance feeding study” in order to make an “educated decision” about what materials should be used in an account.
Here’s how it works: In addition to their regular service, the technician places a small amount of a number of different bait products featuring various active ingredients/modes of action on choice cards near cockroach harborage sites. During the next service visit, the service professional inspects the cards to determine which baits have been consumed, recording this information in his/her notes and placing out fresh cards to track any changes in cockroach feeding patterns.
By taking such an approach, the industry will extend the life of these products, ensuring they are available for generations to come. “Bait has really transformed cockroach control,” Rust said, but without proper stewardship at both the manufacturer and PMP level, the industry runs the risk of undermining the effectiveness of this technology.
“You always have to consider resistance,” he said. “It’s a consistent and ongoing problem. There’s a professional responsibility from you as well as the basic manufacturer, we really do need to put some limits here and really steward the products.”
In one of the final educational sessions, Bayer’s Dr. Byron Reid reiterated how far the industry has come since the early days of cockroach control. He said there was a time “30 years ago” when German cockroach control in commercial accounts posed significant challenges. That’s no longer the case today due, in large part, to the effectiveness of cockroach baits.
“We don’t want go back to those days,” he said, which is why Bayer has continued to invest significant R&D dollars in the Maxforce brand.
Recommended Application Rates
The application rate for Maxforce Impact Roach Gel Bait is dependent on the severity of the infestation and the species to be controlled. According to the label, “Apply gel as round spots or thin beads into cracks and crevices or as a spot treatment.”
Each case of Maxforce Impact comes with five boxes of product, each containing four 30-gram tubes of bait and a bait plunger. (Source: Bayer)
To learn more about Maxforce Impact Roach Gel Bait, visit www.maxforceimpact.com. — Dan Moreland
Highlights from Bayer’s Commercial Innovation Forum are available in a photo slideshow on PCT’s website at www.pctonline.com/Impact_launch.aspx