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Cockroaches have proven to be one of the most resilient, adaptable creatures in the history of the world, with their origins dating back an estimated 300 million years. This adaptability has become the bane of pest control professionals across America determined to keep their clients free from these troublesome invaders.
Of the 4,000 or so cockroach species in the world today, only a small handful are routinely considered structural pests. As with many other insects, the habits of
each cockroach species has a tendency to vary, making proper identification the first consideration when investigating cockroach treatment options. The cockroach treatment approaches and corresponding roach control product options are vast, posing unique challenges for those wishing to manage their own infestations.
Before jumping into a do-it-yourself roach control program, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with how various roach control products are designed to work. The effectiveness and expediency of resolving your infestation is likely to be more of a reflection of the manner in which you apply your products of choice as opposed to which products you actually choose. Some products can (and should) be used in combination with certain other products, while other products may be designed to work independently. When choosing products, always give consideration to what your ultimate objective is, keeping in mind that it is very easy to use products that will kill some roaches without ever positively impacting the overall roach populations.
Many roach baits have proven to be very effective...when the right bait is applied in the right manner in the right locations. The simplicity of application is one of the many advantages of utilizing cockroach baits. When using baits, it is critically important to minimize potential competing food sources in order to encourage more aggressive feeding on the bait placements, thereby speeding up the roach elimination process. Roach baits can be used in combination with Insect Growth Regulators such as Gentrol Point Source, which disrupt the cockroach reproductive cycle. Be sure to sanitize the environment and keep all bait placements away from contaminants such as other pesticides and household cleaners. It is generally not advisable to use roach dusts, repellent sprays, or contact kill insecticides while executing a cockroach baiting regimen.
Well that depends. Whether or not spraying resolves your roach problem will depend partly upon whether the spray products you choose are optimal for your particular situation and circumstances, and if they are, whether you apply those products in an effective, efficient way. Spraying properly for roaches takes some diligence, and often requires more than one product formulation. It isn't necessarily the case that you shouldn't spray for roaches, but rather that if you plan to spray for roaches it should be done within the framework of a targeted treatment strategy. Different types of roach sprays are designed to impact roach populations in different ways, and not understanding how a product functions will keep your battle with roaches entirely an uphill one.
All sprays are also not designed to be used in all locations. Using a liquid spray to try to treat a concentration of German Roaches above and behind a dishwasher is unlikely to provide the right exposure in the right ways that would be necessary to yield positive results, for instance. Keep in mind also that most non-repellent roach sprays, contact killers, or flushing agents will, somewhat by design, cause the roaches to scatter in search of refuge away from the treatment zone. Partial, non-comprehensive spray treatments can have the tendency to kill some roaches on the surface while enabling the larger populations to spread to other areas and continue reproduction.
Start with a thorough inspection of the impacted area and the areas around it. Because roaches are thigmotactic insects, they have a need to remain in tightly confined spaces such as cracks and crevices. Using a flashlight, look low and high behind baseboards, undersides of drawers, joints of cabinets, beneath sinks, and around pipes. Remove switch plates and, pull out the stove, dishwasher, and refrigerator. Inspect the joints around microwaves. Because roaches only travel short distances from their harborage areas, start your inspection in those locations and work outward from there.
Come to terms with the fact that the roaches didn't appear overnight, and you're unlikely to get rid of them all overnight either. Slow down and allow yourself to truly assess what's happening.Using any type of roach monitoring sticky trap, place several monitors throughout the impacted zone abutting vertical services. These monitors will not independently resolve the roach problem, but that really isn't their purpose. They will, however, give you an idea how extensive or widespread the roach problem is, and indicate where their harborages are. As roaches start getting caught on these traps, pay special attention to the direction they are heading as they get stuck. Whichever direction they traveled towards the trap, their harborage is likely 18-36 inches away from the trap back in that direction.
Nothing will limit the effectiveness of any roach treatment program more than poor sanitation. Food particles, grease, sugars, moisture, and just about any organic matter could become a viable cockroach food source. The less food available for them to feed on, the easier and faster it will become to resolve the roach problem. Go on a cleaning and disinfecting frenzy, paying special attention to cracks and crevices throughout the area.
Are you going to use baits and IGRs, or some combination of sprays, aerosols, and dusts? Using baits is often a slower process, but sometimes may have a higher probability of total elimination. Sprays and dusts may provide an opportunity for instant gratification, but only through a comprehensive treatment approach. Most strategies CAN work, but not all are ideal under all sets of circumstances.
Once you decide on a treatment approach, browse through Pest Supply HQ's Roach Control Products to decide which ones you want to go with. Keep in mind that not all types of products and formulations work well together...in fact, things like flushing agents, contact killers, and repellent sprays typically negate the effectiveness of many baits. Remember also to purchase any personal protective equipment that might be required for the products you choose.
Begin your roach treatment in accordance with the product label instructions for any products you've decided to use. Need additional assistance deciding which cockroach control products to use or how to proceed? Pest Supply HQ offers free email and phone support.