In the News – Cockroach Control in Multi-Family Housing

By Chris Williams on March 1, 2012.

Pest control in low-income housing is often a challenge, usually because property owners are not willing to spend the money to have professionals do the job as it should be done. Research by an urban entomologist and a San Diego pest control company found that only a small percentage of low-income apartments in Los Angeles were receiving professional service of any sort. The remaining residents were doing their own cockroach control using over-the-counter products with little success.

german-cockroachThe researchers evaluated more than 2,000 low-income apartments in the greater Los Angeles area. Sixty-seven percent of the apartments had no professional pest control. In these apartments, tenants attempted to control German cockroaches on their own, but 96% of the apartments showed little or no control as a result. Residents most commonly used aerosol insecticide sprays or foggers. A few of the residents used cockroach gel bait stations or gel bait in tubes. The tube gel bait was often misapplied and was found in areas that were accessible to children and pets.

Thirty-three percent of the apartments had some form of professional pest control, but in the vast majority of these there was no evidence that gel bait or dusts had been used. Tenants interviewed said that the technician used a compressed air sprayer to spray insecticides and required that kitchen cabinets be emptied before treatment. 82% of these professionally sprayed apartments still had cockroach infestations that were ranked as either “moderate” or “severe.”

Spraying and fogging are outmoded cockroach control techniques. Many studies have compared this traditional spraying with bait application in multi-family housing and have concluded that baiting is more effective and less disruptive. Most pest control companies have replaced “spraying” with bait application that does not require preparation on the part of the residents. Yet the researchers found that in the Greater Los Angeles area, most pest control companies were still using this ineffective treatment for the control of German cockroaches in low-income housing and were not meeting the industry standard. Further, over-the-counter insecticide products used by residents resulted in unsafe and ineffective cockroach control. (Source: “Holistic Approach.” Herb Field, John Klotz, and Eric Paysen. PCT Magazine, November 2011)

If you or someone you know needs cockroach control, make sure you get service that really works. At Colonial, gel baits are the mainstay of our professional cockroach control service. See “Cockroach Control” under our Services heading to read more about the methods our technicians use to manage cockroach problems.

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