With the arrival of cooler weather, pest pressure increases on the perimeter of structures as insects move indoors seeking shelter from the cold.
As a result, service calls for boxelder bugs, Asian lady beetles, brown marmorated stink bugs, millipedes, spotted lanternflies and overwintering insects increase as customers begin encounter fall invaders in growing numbers.
Fall is also the time of year when outdoor cockroach populations peak, creating a variety of control challenges for PMPs. There’s a biological reason for this phenomenon, according to Techletter, a publication of Pinto & Associates. “Most peridomestic cockroaches are large species with slower life cycles than smaller domestic cockroaches. Unlike German cockroaches that reproduce year-round, Oriental and American cockroaches, have just one generation a year.”
Since American cockroach nymphs hatch from egg cases in June in most regions of the country, by fall, these late-stage nymphs are seeking out food and overwintering sites, along with the adults. “At this time, they often enter substructures,” Techletter states.
WHAT TO DO? So what’s the best plan of attack for PMPs encountering these situations? “When I talk about perimeter pest management, I suggest PMPs think of their accounts like a boat on the ocean,” say Joe Barile, technical service lead, Bayer Environmental Science. “Around the perimeter of a home, occasional invaders and overwintering pests are coming in to take advantage of the resources structures provide – food, water and shelter.”
And the perimeter of a structure is the first line of defense around a home or business, a location attractive to insects because it provides an attractive microenvironment to live and reproduce. “Our first obligation when thinking about perimeter pest management is to take these ‘safe spaces’ away from these insects,” Barile says. “To keep that ship on the ocean water-tight.”
While such an approach “sounds like a no brainer,” Barile says, it’s often easier said than done, requiring a commitment on the part of the technician to not only perform a thorough inspection, but take a “targeted approach” to structural pest control.
“The key is to put product where it is going to intercept the pest most effectively,” Barile says. “No longer can we rely on area-wide spraying to control perimeter pests. Today, we need to be more targeted in our approach.”
In addition to applying Barricor as a coarse low-pressure spray to mulch and the sides of structures at a maximum height of 3 feet above grade, applications should be made to other common entry points around structures (i.e., heating and plumbing lines, foundation cracks, dryer vents, etc.).
“I recommend PMPs target two specific areas,” Barile says. “First, it’s important to target the sill plate, where the house sits on the foundation. It’s a very important place to put your insecticide. This is often the front door to the structure for insects. You want to drive product under that sill so it comes into contact with any insects trying to enter the structure.
“Second, target the foundation and any mulch beds around the perimeter of the structure,” he says, “Mulch is a complex surface that insects find very attractive, so it’s critical you treat these areas.”
Most Wanted List
Be on the lookout for these common and not-so-common pests as temperatures cool.
Call volume for overwintering pests and peridomestic cockroaches surge every fall, generating a nice boost to the bottom line for PMPs across North America. To assist you and your staff in identifying some of the industry’s more common fall invaders, we’ve put together the following “Most Wanted List” to assist with proper identification.
Turkestan cockroaches are sexually dimorphic. Only the male has fully developed wings, and it is light reddish brown in color. The female is blackish with a wider body and yellowish stripes on the outer margins of the wing pads.
The brown cockroach is often mistaken for the American cockroach. Adult brown cockroaches may be darker than the American cockroach but not always; both species are reddish-brown with yellow markings on the pronotum. The key identifying character between the two species involves the terminal (last) segment of the cerci. The terminal segment of the brown cockroach cercus is shorter and thicker than that of the American cockroach.
The American cockroach is the largest pest cockroach species in the U.S., growing to just over 2 inches in length. This cockroach has fully developed reddish brown wings and yellowish markings on its pronotum that appear to be a “figure 8” on some specimens. Males and females are about the same size, but the female has a wider abdomen than the male, while the male has both cerci and stylets.
The spotted lanternfly is approximately ½-inch long. The forewing is gray with black spots and the wing tips are reticulated black blocks outlined in gray. The hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band.
Western Conifer Seed Bug
The western conifer seed bug is about ½- on ¾-inch in length. Its hind legs are long and it has a small, pointed head. It is gray in color with a whitish zigzag band across the center of its back.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
The brown marmorated stink bug measures ½- to 5/8-inch in length. It is shield-shaped, with a large triangular plate on its back. Its color is mottled or marbled brown, with broad whitish bands on the outer two antennal segments. It has alternating dark and pale bands on the abdomen which are visible along the abdominal side margins, and there is a dark area where the wings overlap toward the rear.
Lady beetles are hemispherical in shape and 1/16- to ¼-inch long. Brightly colored, most species are red, brown or tan with black spots; a few are black with red spots. The adults have three tarsal segments, the part of the leg farthest from the body, a characteristic that distinguishes them from destructive beetles of similar size and shape which have four tarsal segments.
These insects are dark gray, ¼- to 5/8-inch long, oval crustaceans that are humpbacked, appear to be covered with segmented armor and have seven pairs of similar legs. Pillbugs are distinguished from sowbugs because pillbugs are able to roll up into a ball when alarmed and lack the two prominent tail-like appendages that characterize sowbugs.
The boxelder bug is about ½-inch long. It is elongate-oval and somewhat flattened in form, with its head narrower than the pronotum. It is dark gray to black in color with conspicuous red lines on the thorax and wings. The antenna is four-segment. The outer part of the wings is membranous and have many veins.
Other Fall Invaders
Other common fall invaders include spiders, earwigs, millipedes, springtails and various species of ants, most notably Argentine ants and little black ants.
“Labeled for control of more than 40 common pests and with no signal word, Barricor SP is a workhorse product that is well suited for a variety of treatment situations, including high-maintenance perimeter programs,” said Joe Barile, technical service lead, Bayer ES.
To learn more about Barricor SP, contact your Bayer sales representative or visit www.environmentalscience.bayer.us.
(Sources: PCT Field Guide for the Management of Structure-Infesting Cockroaches, PCT Technician’s Handbook, PCT Field Guide to Commercial Pest Management, and Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture)
Perimeter pest control is one of the industry’s most popular service offerings that has become even more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic as customers demand “exterior-only” and “no-contact” solutions to a wide array of pest problems around structures.
Unfortunately, perimeter pest control also poses some unique challenges which are not present on the interior of structures, most notably complex surfaces like mulch and gravel.
These surfaces represent a significant challenge for PMPs. Why? If the proper formulation is not used on complex surfaces, insecticide performance may be compromised, resulting in callbacks, the bane of every pest control business.
This is particularly true in high-maintenance accounts where frequent application of insecticides increases the cost of labor and materials, making product efficacy even more essential. As a result, it’s important for technicians to understand the difference between porous and nonporous surfaces. Examples of porous surfaces include concrete, mulch and gravel. Nonporous surfaces include glass, ceramic tile and stainless steel.
Why should your technicians care? Numerous studies have shown emulsifiable concentrate (EC) formulations are absorbed into porous surfaces, making the active ingredient unavailable to crawling insect pests. Fortunately for cost-conscious PMPs, Bayer Environmental Science introduced Barricor SP during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing an affordable alternative to maintenance applications on complex surfaces.
“While Bayer is known for our high-end, specialty innovations that tackle our customers’ toughest pest problems, we’re also proud to offer solutions to support the frequent service requirements of PMPs who just need to keep the usual-suspect pests at bay during regular services,” said Joe Barile, technical service lead for Bayer Pest Management & Public Health. “We’re especially proud of Barricor because it offers an alternative to economy sprays and enables us to deliver innovation to PMPs who might not have leveraged Bayer products in the past.”
A VALUABLE TOOL. A former PMP himself, Barile said he “grew up” treating restaurants, hospitals, multi-family housing and other high-maintenance accounts on a monthly basis, frequently moving outdoors to perform perimeter treatments as a way to prevent pest entry into structures.
“With a broad label for both indoor and outdoor use and no signal word, Barricor is a workhorse product that is well suited for a variety of treatment situations,” Barile said. Nearly 10 years in development, Barricor features the proven active ingredient deltamethrin in an innovative “solid particle” (SP) formulation that delivers superior performance on gravel, mulch, concrete and more.
“The fundamental challenge when we go outdoors is the physical and chemical composition of the surfaces where we’re placing residual insecticides,” Barile said. “For instance, stucco is extremely alkaline and alkalinity is not good for insecticides. Mulch is also extremely porous and absorptive, but Barricor has been formulated to resist being absorbed by porous surfaces, so the active ingredient remains readily bioavailable.”
Customers and PMPs alike also appreciate the fact that Barricor features no signal word and doesn’t require personal protective equipment (PPE) to apply. “As customers see their service provider applying an insecticide without a face shield, long-sleeved shirt or gloves, it can give them peace of mind,” Barile said. And peace of mind goes a long way towards attracting and retaining customers, regardless of the account.
“Our goal is to provide PMPs with a premium product at a value-oriented price point that allows them to address pest problems in high-maintenance accounts in a convenient, cost-effective fashion,” Barile said. “Barricor is the first new liquid formulation in quite some time, so we’re excited to see how it will be received by the marketplace.”
The high-performance, low-dose rate formulation product is available in a 32-ounce tip-and-pour package and, with a maintenance use rate of 0.25 ounce per 1,000 square feet, will service 128 homes, Bayer reports.
For more information about Barricor – SP, visit es.bayer.us/barricor or contact your Bayer sales representative.
Barricor SP Features & Benefits
Barricor SP is also technician-friendly, requiring no personal protective equipment to apply, and is also friendly to your company’s bottom line since it is available at a similar cost per home to economy pyrethroids. Other features and benefits include:
• Ease of Use
• Broad Label
• Effective on Complex Services
• No Signal Word
• Proven Active Ingredient
• Cost Effective
• Low Dose Rate
To learn more about Barricor SP, contact your local Bayer representative or visit www. es.bayer.us/barricor. *Always comply with state and company policy regarding PPE.
Carefully consider the following 10 questions when selecting a pesticide formulation:
FAQs About Barricor SP
Who is the ideal customer for Barricor SP? Barricor was developed for PMP’s providing high-frequency maintenance services who currently leverage economy pyrethroids.
Why did Bayer develop this formulation? The company was challenged by customers to design an effective, easy-to-use insecticide for high frequency IPM services that has flexible label language, is technician-friendly, and available at a cost competitive to economy bifenthrin formulations.
How does Barricor SP compare across usage rates to bifenthrin products on cost? At its maintenance rate (0.25 fluid ounce/ gallon) Barricor SP is competitive to the 1oz rate of established competitive products at a similar cost per home.