Infestations of cockroaches are rarely entirely eliminated through the reliance of a single method of control. Similarly, infestations are generally rarely eliminated through the dependence of a single pesticide product, without continuing with follow-up inspections and subsequent treatments.
When long-term management and/or elimination is the primary goal, an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program should be applied.
A thorough inspection calls for the use of a strong flashlight and various other tools like a mechanic’s mirror to inspect voids in places that are difficult to gain access to, a flushing agent, and probing tools.
Inspect for signs of cockroach activity, for example, where there are areas of dark speckling which signifies the German cockroach. Alternative signs may include food consumption, cockroach egg cases, as well as shed skins.
Places where cockroaches hide are frequently within close proximity to their source of food. Search in areas that provide warmth, moisture, food, and shelter. Keep in mind that cockroaches have a preference for natural surfaces such as cardboard and wood.
Exclusion of cockroaches means the reduction of their hiding places and their movement. It’s likely not possible to remove every avenue of cockroach mobility, and it’s almost impossible to deny them use of every potential hiding place.
In dwelling spaces with shared walls, like apartment buildings, any gaps should be covered with materials like urethane foam or silicone sealant. American and Oriental cockroaches often prefer to live outside a particular structure, and in such a case, the exterior of the building ought to be inspected to locate then seal any points whereby cockroaches may obtain access to a building’s interior.
In a similar fashion, cockroaches can be excluded from their hiding places by sealing crevices, cracks, and any holes that they can use to access secluded areas.
The key goal of sanitation is the removal of any sources of food and water that may be within the cockroach’s environment. Sanitation, as with exclusion, is likely not fully achievable, and although both methods together will rarely be enough to ensure entire cockroach elimination, they do work to enhance the overall impact of pesticide application.
Vacuuming and steaming can prove to be a valuable method for sanitation. Vacuum and steam units that are designed for the control of insects are effective, particularly so in heavily infested locales.
Making pesticide applications in accordance to the directions on the label, and sufficiently close to the whereabouts of the cockroaches, is just as important as the selection of the best pesticide.
Pesticide products are frequently misused. Among the main hazards are the total-release aerosols, often referred to as “bombs” or “foggers.” Such products can prove to be counterproductive, given that they can fail to adequately penetrate the hiding place, in which cause, they can cause cockroaches to scatter, thereby spreading to new locations. They can also be a significant hazard in terms of fire and explosion, so great care must be exercised when in use.
Although baits are an effective management pursuit, as is the case with alternative pesticides, the same product should not be utilized over a lengthy time period. Cockroaches have displayed some level of resistance to baits that are overused.
Though cockroach control does not always necessitate the engagement of a pest management professional, frequently it can be a wise precaution, particularly so for heavy infestations in sensitive or complex environments. It’s true that most consumers will be fully able to perform more than adequate sanitation and exclusion measures, as well as cleaning and sealing. However, the selection of pesticides on an over-the-counter basis is limited in comparison to those available to the professional.
Such specialist pesticides and equipment designed for the control of cockroaches, like microencapsulate formulations, insect growth regulators, and dust applicators, are generally unavailable to consumers. Otherwise, however, every product that is available to the consumer will only be effective when the label directions are followed exactly.
If dusts and baits are used, do be patient. It will often take several days for cockroaches to die, more so with respect to exposure to dusts.
Together with sanitation and exclusion principles, these days, German cockroach management plans almost singularly rely on the appropriate usage of baits and dust formulations (for example, dusts that contain silica, diatomaceous earth, and boric acid), together with crack-and-crevice and spot applications using residual liquid pesticides.
The application of pesticides is almost always within the makeup of an effective management plan for cockroaches. With the combination of pesticides and nonchemical methods, each method’s effectiveness is further enhanced, and thus, the management of cockroaches is maximized.