Inspection, Please!

Sponsored Content - 2022 State of the Cockroach Control Market

Thorough inspections with great attention to detail are the first step before spraying or baiting. It’s all about targeting the harborage areas.

July 12, 2022

Cockroaches rate 10 out of 10 on the persistence scale if you ask David Aguirre, owner, Thrasher Termite & Pest Control of So Cal in San Diego. But he doesn’t mind. “I love treating cockroaches for the challenge,” he says.

Thorough inspections with great attention to detail are the first step before spraying or baiting. It’s all about targeting the harborage areas. “I can’t tell you how many times we find them in areas that are usually overlooked, like inside a toaster or Keurig, under the kitchen table,” Aguirre relates. “If cockroaches are an issue after the third or fourth treatment, that’s when I get involved, because either the customer is bringing them in from an outside source, or a technician forgot to treat those areas.”

Chey Ramsey says, “Every job is treated a little differently, and it depends on the severity.” The owner of Fairland, Okla.-based Total Pest Services says the first visit is inspection-based, and then he leaves behind glueboards so he can identify hot spots. “With follow-ups, there is a lot of inspecting those glueboards and resetting those,” he said. “For one, they catch a lot of bugs, and they let me know where our problems areas are — and it lets us know what’s going on while we are not there.”

Adam Carace treats cockroach inspections similar to bed bugs. “We check surrounding areas, we try to find out where the person goes on a regular basis — are they bringing insects in, especially when you get into multifamily situations,” says the president of Pest-End Exterminators, Plaistow, N.H.

In commercial settings, taking apart some appliances is essential, Carace adds. “If you are at a coffee shop, the espresso machine has heat, moisture and everything a roach loves.”

Computers are another culprit. “Not as much with laptops, but with desktops, they have heat, fans and sometimes people sit at their computers and eat, so there are food sources,” Carace says. “A roach invasion can grow pretty quickly when they are content in a small area and you can’t see it. Then, by the time you do, there are already 100 of them.”

Brian Saling emphasizes attention to detail. The owner of Saling’s Pest Control in the Las Vegas area says, “If you find cockroaches in the kitchen, maybe the back side of that is the bathroom, so you have to take care of both areas.” He calls pipes “a travel lane” for cockroaches.

In another instance, Saling lifted an outdoor, igloo-style doghouse on a client’s property and found a harborage for oriental cockroaches that he didn’t expect. “There were hundreds under there, and it surprised me, but it made sense,” he says. “It’s dark. It’s damp.”

Now, it’s protocol to lift up dog houses and potted plants. He also advises clients to elevate plants to circulate air rather than placing them directly on a patio.

Like general pest services, cockroach treatment calls for “detective work,” Carace says. And it calls for commitment. “You have to find out why a problem is still there,” he says.