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1. There is a lot of talk about resistance in the pest control community. What is the most important thing pest techs need to know about resistance?
There are three things I like to stress concerning resistance:
- Resistance to current pesticides is developing rapidly in several groups of species that are under constant pressure from frequent pesticide applications. Resistance management is not a problem for the future, it is becoming a major issue now that we must cope with and work towards change.
- There is more than one mechanism of resistance. Multiple mechanisms can be at play at the same time in the same population.
- There is a difference between bait aversion and insecticide resistance.
2. What are the different types of resistance?
- There are four main types:
- Metabolic Resistance – The pest has the ability to get rid of (or metabolize), or destroy, the insecticide.
- Target-Site Resistance – The pest is genetically modified to keep the insecticide from having any effect or producing a reduced effect.
- Penetration Resistance – The pest creates barriers against toxins in their cuticle.
- Behavioral Resistance – Behavioral changes that result in increased survival by avoiding or overcoming management strategies. For example, the pest becomes more sensitive to a toxin or other formulation ingredient and is thus able to avoid the sprayed area or stop feeding when that particular toxin or ingredient is detected.
3. What is the difference between bait aversion and insecticide resistance?
- Bait aversion deals more with specific ingredients in the formulation, not the insecticide. If a cockroach population has become bait adverse, you can remove the active ingredient and they still won’t eat it. But if you take out the food ingredient they have an aversion to, they may eat it. Cockroaches have become averse to specific sugars and components of liquid insecticides, for instance.
- Resistance is a heritable change in a population that results from behavioral or physiological adaptations that lead to repeated failure of a product. Bait aversion has been assessed as a mechanism of behavioral resistance.
- Resistance can be extremely difficult to detect in the field because many other factors can be at play such as cockroaches not feeding due to contaminated bait, poor application, using too little or too much bait, food competition, or other conducive conditions.
- Both bait aversion and toxicological resistance mechanisms could be present in the same population. The end result of each scenario is the same, cockroaches are present after multiple attempts to control the population.
4. What is the message to the PMPs who are dealing with situations that are at high risk for resistance?
Rotate insecticide classes, not just products. Active ingredients from different insecticide classes will have entirely different modes of action and be more effective in controlling physiological resistance. Here are some examples of products you do not want to rotate that are in the same class:
For more info on insecticide modes of action go to www.IRAC-Online.org.
To combat bait aversion carry a variety of baits from different manufacturers that will contain different base ingredients. Before applying the bait to the entire structure, offer a few smaller bait placement to cockroaches to see if there is apparent behavioral avoidance.
5. Any final thoughts on preventing resistance?
- IPM is a primary key to resistance management, and implementing non-chemical methods is imperative. Non-chemical methods include products like desiccants, vacuums and glue boards — these are physical or mechanical killers that do not promote resistance.
- To help reduce the selective pressures of resistance, add products into your rotation program with actives that have no known resistance such as borates. Implement the use of non-gel baits such as Niban Granular Insecticide bait containing boric acid, and promote the use of insecticide dust such as Nibor-D Insecticide with DOT or liquid spot treatments alongside baiting programs to reduce selective pressures. Remember to rotate dust and liquid products as well.
- Adjust your protocol or change baits if you see that there are plenty of live cockroaches, but they do not consume all of the bait, or if you return to find the bait has been eaten, but you expected a higher death toll, or if the population did not consume any bait.
- Do not stop until the job is complete. For resistance to persist, pests must survive your control efforts and reproduce. Your job is to make sure that does not happen.
1. There is a lot of safety equipment available out there. What one item do you think is the most important?
That’s a good question! While you wouldn’t want to choose just a single safety item in reality, there is one you should put at the top of your list, and that’s safety glasses. It sounds like such a simple thing, but the consequences of not using safety glasses can be permanent and tragic. And when you’re closing crawl spaces, eye protection is absolutely imperative. It’s often hard to see and that makes the chances of running into something that can injure an eye much greater. Also, crawl spaces tend to be messy places with ductwork, nails, insulation and all sorts of other surprises that can cause significant injury. Between the lack of light and the amount of potential clutter, safety glasses are certainly the first thing you think of when assembling your PPE.
2. Do regular glasses offer enough protection?
Unfortunately, no. Safety eyewear conforms to a higher standard of impact resistance. While regular prescription glasses obviously offer a barrier to everyday events in our regular lives, that’s not their purpose. They can’t qualify as occupational “safety glasses” unless they meet the safety eyewear standards established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The ANSI standards are also used by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
3. What kinds of safety glasses are there?
The two kinds of safety glasses are prescription (available from an eye care professional) and non-prescription (“plano”) safety glasses, then there are two classifications of impact resistance: basic and high impact. The choice of impact level depends on your occupation, and some activities require even more protection, such as side shields, goggles or full face protection. Wrap styles are popular for any activity that might need a side shield.
Many styles are available depending on your needs and personal preferences. Options include padding, magnification, over-glasses fitting, anti-reflective (AR) coating, polarized lenses, various patterns and lens tints. Eye professionals can even prescribe bifocals and progressive lenses as well as standard prescriptions.
The lens material is also important. Many people prefer polycarbonate lenses because they weigh less than half than glass and are also more impact resistant. Unfortunately, they’re softer than glass, so they’re more easily scratched. Anyone who wears regular glasses is aware of this problem!
4. What kind of safety glasses should I be looking at for closed crawl space work?
If you choose eyewear protection with the highest impact standard, you can’t go wrong in just about any occupation. For crawl space work, in particular, we also recommend non-polarized glasses because you don’t need polarized lenses in a crawl space as there is no sun to create glare and sun hazes. (You might opt to have anti-reflective lenses to help with glare from the artificial lighting in a closed area, but they aren’t a necessity.) Almost as important as impact resistance for practical working conditions are anti-fog lenses. When you get into a crawl space, you’ll probably find your glasses fog up the minute you put them on! It’s not only frustrating, it’s dangerous.
5. There are thousands of safety glasses out there. What do you recommend?
Because we offer quality materials to close crawl spaces and we felt this issue was so critical, we now offer products from Edge Safety Eyewear. Edge takes pride in merging cutting-edge technology with contemporary fashion, providing the finest safety-rated eyewear on the market. They not only offer the best impact protection, but also premium anti-fog protection with their revolutionary Vapor Shield technology.
Edge’s impact resistance is phenomenal. It’s tested in independent laboratories for compliance with both ANSI Z87.1+2015 and Military Ballistic MCEPS GL-PD 10-12 – in fact Military Ballistic MCEPS safety standards simulate a shotgun blast from 33 feet!
Many Edge Eyewear models feature their unique Vapor Shield Anti-Fog technology. It’s so common to see technicians in a crawl space with glasses so fogged up that they can’t see. No matter how many times they stop to clean them, they just fog up again. So what happens? They remove the glasses and keep working! That’s a critical problem that now has an easy fix. This isn’t your Grandpa’s standard anti-fog. It’s a special application that is absolutely impervious to fog and recommended for “extreme” environments — like a crawl space!
In addition to their superior impact resistance and available Vapor Shield models, Edge has a wide variety of styles to suit individual tastes and fits — everything from lens tints to goggle kits. Edge offers unique features to fit the specific needs of different work environments and various facial structures. Their glasses also provide 99.9% UVA/UVB/UVC protection. We feel that adding quality safety products like Edge Eyewear helps complete our crawl space product line.
These Edge Eyewear models feature Vapor Shield, Edge’s revolutionary military grade anti-fog coating that totally prevents any fogging in any environment. All Edge Eyewear lenses also filter dangerous UVA, UVB and UVC rays for optimal safety.
The Edge Caraz Safety Glasses feature clear lenses for optimal clarity plus an EVA foam gasket ideal when working in environments with high levels of airborne debris, dust or wind. The arms detach so that you can attach an adjustable head band to keep the glasses secured to your head regardless of your orientation.
The Edge Brazeau-Torque, Khor G2 and Dakura Safety Glasses are all designed to fit comfortably with a stylish look. The Brazeau and Khor G2 feature clear lenses with pristine clarity, so they are an excellent safety choice for indoor and low light conditions. The Dakura’s yellow tint provides slightly less light transmission than clear lenses when light is present, but items appear with more clarity. Technicians really like using these in a crawl space environment.
1. What integrated pest management (IPM) techniques are most effective against cockroaches?
Cockroaches need 4 things to survive: food, water, harborage, and procreation. In my opinion, harborage removal/elimination is key for cockroach control. Typically, this means cleaning clutter, and then treating any remaining harborage.
2. Why have baits become the product of choice for managing cockroaches both indoors and outdoors?
Baits are popular because of their simplicity and overall effectiveness. In general, they have been so successful because of three things:
- Less preparation is needed — customers no longer must empty their cabinets for a “traditional” chemical treatment.
- Baits can be simply placed in cracks and crevices where cockroaches live.
- Bait materials are highly attractive and effective against cockroaches.
3. Why are cockroaches so successful as pests?
This can be boiled down to one word: Reproduction. Cockroaches’ ability to reproduce quickly is why they are successful. German cockroach females typically develop in less than three months from egg to adult. This generation time means cockroach populations can build rapidly. Additionally, a single German cockroach female can produce 40+ eggs per ootheca and she can make several of these egg cases in her lifetime.
4. How do cockroaches affect human health?
Cockroaches commonly affect human health in two ways: allergens and spread of bacteria.
Cockroach cast skins (exuviae) and fecal material contain proteins that many people can be allergic to. If exposed for long periods of time or repeatedly, this can cause serious medical conditions, including asthma.
In food-preparation areas, cockroaches can physically move bacteria on their bodies. For example, the cockroach may be spending time in a sewer and then crawl across a clean kitchen counter, bringing dangerous bacteria with them in the process.
5. What would happen if all cockroaches disappeared from the planet?
Cockroaches play a very important role as nutrient recyclers and detritivores (organisms that eat decaying organic material). When cockroaches feed, they help to replenish nitrogen in soil. This, in turn, feeds plants. If we had no more cockroaches, the effects on plants, soil and forests would be disastrous. While cockroaches are not welcome in our structures, they are beneficial insects in the natural world.