Technology & Technique Tips

Looking back at our years of industry experience have afforded those who grew up in the industry since the 1970s a perspective of change.  Chlorinated hydrocarbon-, carbamate- and organophosphatebased insecticide products, as well as monthly baseboard spray applications, are long gone. Longterm residual insecticides are a thing of the past, and the contents of our collective industry toolbox is almost unrecognizable compared to years ago. Clearly, the industry has come a long way. But are we, and our customers, better off? Sure we are, and with good reason. As Doc Frishman has often said, “You can be on the right track, but you can get run over if you’re not moving fast enough or headed in the wrong direction.” Those who’ve paid attention have learned and progressed along with the industry. Those who haven’t have been left behind or relegated to a spray-and-pray strategy.

Cockroach Face Off

Welcome to your ringside seat at the Cockroach Championship. Which cockroach species is the toughest to knock out (KO) American or German? In the blue corner, we have the American cockroach — bigger and harder hitting. Many expect the American to take advantage of its superior size and strength by going for an early knockout. In the red corner, we have the wily German cockroach — quick and elusive. The German will try to leverage its evasiveness to wear down its adversary. If this championship bout goes the distance, it will be an advantage for the German.

One is Too Many – Knowledge is Power

Cockroach populations, particularly of the commonly encountered German species (Blatella germanica), can mushroom overnight. Three main factors determine the carrying capacity (the maximum sustainable population) of a German cockroach population: food, shelter and water. Shelter has the greatest impact. When pest management professionals (PMPs) reduce shelter options, they reduce populations’ carrying capacities. Sealing cracks and crevices is one effective tactic. Using plastic bags to seal cardboard boxes also significantly decreases German cockroach populations.
Reducing clutter and debris is helpful, too.

Worst-Case Scenarios

The events you will read about are true. We witnessed them and share them with you for your benefit. But the primary purpose of relating these stories isn’t to be sensationalistic. It’s to stress to pest management professionals (PMPs) what might happen if people in our profession didn’t exist. It emphasizes how horrible a cockroach situation can become and the incredible horror humans must — or mistakenly think they must — endure daily in their homes. It underscores how important our work can be to others who depend on us.

Cockroaches and Sanitation

Cockroaches can survive on very small amounts of food and water. Proper sanitation minimizes the total number of cockroaches that can survive in a given area. Food resources limited by sanitation efforts can cause cockroaches to cannibalize their young. Simply stated, proper sanitation efforts include:
• Removal of excess pet and animal food
• Removal of spilled food debris
• Ensuring a proper seal on closed refrigerator doors
• Keeping a tight lid on trash cans