How to Choose and Use Professional Roach Baits
Roach baits are formulations that are attractive to roaches and (when eaten by the insect) are lethal to roaches. There are different types of baits that can be used, depending on roach species and area to be baited. The basic baits covered in this article are bait stations, bait gels and granular baits. Roach bait stations can be used indoors or outdoors; indoor use is usually recommended. Roach bait gels can be used indoors and can also be use on the exterior surfaces of buildings. Granular baits are usually used outdoors (in mulched areas where larger roaches breed or hide) but can also be used in attics or wall voids.
For best results, do not combine contact
insecticides with baits. (A contact insecticide is a granule,
liquid spray or aerosol that is used to directly kill targeted pests.)
Many people are concerned when they see the amount of active ingredients
in an insect bait. These people think that they are not getting their
money's worth because the amount of active ingredients (insecticide or killing
agent) seems to be very low. When baiting roaches,
or crickets, you do not
want to see large amounts of active ingredients in the formulation. If
insecticide levels are too high (in an insect bait), the targeted pest will be
repelled instead of being attracted to the bait. The low amount of active
ingredients in a roach bait (or other insect baits) is an attractive property to
many people who wish to use as little insecticides as possible.
Fipronil has what is called a domino effect. Cockroach nymphs (baby
or young roaches) have no teeth with which they can use to eat solid foods,
leaving them to feed on liquids only. The most readily available liquid
food (to a new born roach) is roach feces. Any roach that consumes
Fipronil will deposit feces or droppings that are loaded with the insecticide,
as well as the attractants found in the bait. Other roaches (particularly
young or baby roaches) cannot resist the professional bait attractants found in
these droppings and will therefore consume the bait through feeding on the
droppings of other roaches.
Roach Bait Stations
A roach bait station is often called a "roach trap" but the device is far from being a trap. A roach bait station consists of three components: a killing agent, attractants and a device (station) to hold the other two components. When reading the label you will see the killing agent or active ingredient listed but rarely will you see what attractants are used. These attractants are closely guarded trade secrets that the EPA does not require the manufacturers to list on the specimen label or material safety data sheet (MSDS). The actual station is usually constructed of plastic or a combination of plastic and thin cardboard. There are small openings on the sides of these stations which allow cockroaches (or other targeted insect pest) to enter.
We often have concerned parents or pet owners question the safety of using roach or ant bait stations in their homes. The attractants and active ingredients in each station are not in very high amounts. This means that a pet or child would have to consume the entire internal contents of many stations before ingesting a dangerous level of material. The biggest danger (to children, pets or wildlife) with bait stations are the plastic stations, themselves. These stations do pose a possible choking hazard if accidentally ingested by a child or pet. Most bait stations are safe to use in kitchens or other areas where food is stored or prepared but must be kept out of reach of children and pets.
To use roach bait stations, simply place the devices in areas where roaches are most likely to find the bait but where children or pets will not come into contact with the product.
There are several brands of roach bait stations on the market, many of
which contain the same active ingredients. Professionals prefer Maxforce
FC Roach Bait Stations because of the superior attractants used in the
bait. The active ingredient in this brand of roach bait is Fipronil.
Roach Bait Gels
Baiting for roaches with gel formulations has become the most popular
method. The use of bait stations is limited to a few areas where the
stations can be safely placed.
Roach bait gels are produced in different delivery types: disposable syringe, bait gun and aerosol. The disposable syringe is used most often. One syringe or tube of Maxforce FC Roach Bait Gel or Advion Roach Bait Gel contains enough material to bait your kitchen, dining area and bathrooms when baiting to eliminate an infestation of German cockroaches. In severe cases (where every room of the home is infested) up three tubes might be needed. When used in a preventative or maintenance program, three tubes should last for about an year (using one tube every 3 months.)
A new alternative roach bait gel is called Advion. Cockroaches find the attractants in this roach bait irresistible, while the active ingredient ( indoxacarb ) has no known bait avoidance properties which might inhibit the fast elimination of most cockroach species. To learn more about the new active ingredient indoxacarb and the newly formulated Advion® cockroach gel bait, go to the Advion Roach Bait information page.
Pest control technicians will often use a bait
gun, which is a device that allows small, precise bait placements.
Small cartridges (filled with bait) are inserted into the bait gun; the bait is
dispensed by squeezing the bait gun trigger. Most professional bait guns
allow you an adjustment for applying larger or smaller bait placements, as
situations might require. The bait guns can be too expensive for the
average do-it-yourselfer but do pay for themselves when used on a day to day
basis. Personnel assigned to baiting large apartment complexes on a
monthly or quarterly schedule are more likely to use a bait gun.
Granular Roach Baits
Several brands of granular baits are available: Advance
Carpenter Ant Bait,
Granular roach baits are not to be confused with granulated contact insecticides such as Diazinon, Dursban, Oftanol, DeltaGard or Talstar. Contact insecticide granules need to be watered but granulated roach baits (or ant baits) should not be watered. Watering contact insecticide granules releases the active ingredients into the soil. Watering a roach bait or ant bait ruins the bait.