[Cockroach Control] Going Up?

Features - PCT News

Where to find cockroaches in multi-level buildings.

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July 10, 2009

Common domestic cockroaches tend to stratify themselves within a building: different species occupying different sites and even different levels.

Why? Because each cockroach species has different temperature and moisture preferences. By occupying different sites, they don’t have to compete with one another. Knowing the preferences of the various species helps technicians get to the heart of an infestation.

Top FloorS. The brownbanded cockroach is found in drier areas on upper levels. It’s more likely to be found away from kitchens and bathrooms, invading bedrooms and living rooms. It can be found behind objects on the wall, inside TVs and other appliances, and in furniture.

Main FLOORS. The German cockroach lives here in warm, dry, protected areas but with direct access to food and water. Sometimes, the brownbanded cockroach can be found in the same sites. The brownbanded cockroach also likes warm, dry areas but has less need for water than the other roaches.

The German cockroach is found above basement level and is most common in the kitchen or bathroom of residences, behind cabinets or appliances.

GROUND FLOORS. The American cockroach lives in warm, dark, damp areas on ground floors. The American is found in boiler rooms, vending machine rooms, storage areas, garbage rooms, sewers and near steam pipes. It’s also found in warm commercial establishments like bakeries, greenhouses and restaurants. It’s rarely found above the first floor of buildings and is uncommon in residences.

CRAWLSPACE/BASEMENT LEVEL. The oriental cockroach lives in cool, dark, damp, poorly ventilated areas. Its neighbor, the American cockroach, may visit occasionally.

The oriental is found in cellars, crawlspaces, basements, garages, or near floor drains, water pipes, water meter vaults and sewers. In warm weather, it’s often found outside around building foundations and enters through basement doors and other openings. It’s rarely found above the basement level of a building.

Of course, there are always exceptions to these “multi-level roach rules.” For instance, the German cockroach can often be found anywhere in a building if conditions are right. But understanding that certain cockroaches are generally found only in certain parts of a building will go a long way to successful identification and control.

How to Use a Flushing Agent

A flushing agent, as its name implies, is used to “flush” pests (usually cockroaches) out of hiding. There are three reasons to use a flushing agent for roaches:

  1.  During inspection. Injecting a flushing agent into voids and cracks and crevices will help you find cockroach “hot spots” for treatment.
  2. To move cockroaches onto treated surfaces. A flushing agent will force cockroaches to come into contact with your residual insecticide.
  3. To exclude cockroaches from certain areas. Some flushing agents have a longer residual and are used as repellents to keep cockroaches out of certain protected sites.

Flushing agents can be aerosols, liquids or dusts. Most are dual use, meaning they can be used to both kill insects, usually by contact, and flush them out of hiding areas. The flusher should be applied, using an injection tip, into cockroach hiding places such as cracks and crevices, table legs, behind cabinets, in drop ceilings and other voids, and inside equipment. The flushing agent may kill cockroaches that it directly contacts, but others may be affected only temporarily. It’s important to also use a residual insecticide or a bait for long-term control.

If you’re using the flushing agent as an inspection tool, use it before you apply any other insecticides. The scurrying roaches will indicate where to concentrate your residual application.

If you’re using the flushing agent to move roaches onto treated surfaces, use it after you have applied a residual insecticide to surfaces, corners under equipment and in cracks and crevices.

To move roaches out of hiding, the flushing agent must be irritating or repellent to them. Pyrethrins, pyrethrum and certain repellent pyrethroids are the insecticides most commonly used in flushing agents. Usually, the higher the percentage of these chemicals in the product, the more flushing action they will have. Because flushing agents are usually irritating to humans as well, technicians should wear a respirator when applying them in confined spaces or for extended periods, and they should avoid their use when people are present. — Larry Pinto & Sandra Kraft

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Free Cockroach Training Resource
For technical directors

Bayer Environmental Science is offering pest managment professionals a cockroach training resource — the Cockroach Solution Guide in PowerPoint format. The presentation was developed to complement Bayer’s Cockroach Solution Guide, and provides a simple, yet effective way for pest management companies to train their technicians on the latest technology and proper techniques for cockroach control, the company says.

“The Cockroach Solution Guide presentation is an ideal tool for pest management training directors,” says Gordon Morrison, Maxforce insecticides market manager. “It offers them the same dynamic information found in the Cockroach Solution Guide in an easy-to-teach format that is well-suited for larger groups, lectures and training sessions.” The Cockroach Solution Guide presentation features:

  • A detailed overview of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and the importance of its role in effective cockroach management;
  • Full-color illustrations to help identify common cockroach species in each life stage: egg case, nymph and adult;
  • A detailed directory of various pesticide and non-pesticide control options;
  • And a treatment guide with detailed illustrations to help technicians correctly address infestations in residential and commercial environments.

The presentation is available for download at www.BackedbyBayer.com or in hard copy format from your local Bayer field sales representative. For more information call 800/331-2867.

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Cockroaches Most Prevalent Asthma Source in Cities

Cockroaches aren’t just a nuisance. For many inner-city children they represent a serious public health threat, according to Dr. Peter Gergen, medical officer at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Speaking at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology’s annual meeting earlier this year, Gergen said cockroaches are the most prevalent source of allergens in cities, while cats are the primary culprit in the suburbs.

Those observations don’t come as a surprise to PCOs or Dr. Ginger Chew, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University. She cites a study conducted in 2005 with children from an inner-city community of a major East Coast city. In that study, cockroach allergens were a huge trigger, even more so than dust mites, cats or dogs. “That made me a firm believer that if children with asthma have cockroaches in their environment, PCOs need to eradicate them.” She warns, however, that PCOs need to be careful in their choice of treatment, because some pesticides also can exacerbate asthma symptoms.
(Source: www.ama-assn.org and www.pctonline.com)