The insect pests that are particularly difficult to eliminate from infested homes are best controlled by adhering to the principles of integrated pest management. IPM is an approach to pest control that focuses on preventing infestations by combining multiple non-chemical control methods. IPM allows for the use of EPA-approved insecticides as a last resort when all non-toxic control methods have been exhausted. However, many of the most recently introduced insecticide formulations are low-toxicity, such as insect growth regulators (IGR), next generation bait products, microbial insecticides, silica gel, and Pyrethrins. The IPM process for cockroach pests entails inspection, sanitation, exclusion, and the use of low-toxicity insecticides.
In Houston where cockroaches are tremendously common and problematic pests, heavy indoor roach infestations should be addressed by a licensed pest control professional. An inspection within and around a home where an infestation exists or is suspected of existing is the first step in any cockroach control program. In addition to their training and experience, pest control professionals often have high-tech devices or other specific products that can detect and monitor pests within inaccessible and/or well-hidden locations where the pests would otherwise go unnoticed by homeowners. Sticky traps are widely available and useful for detecting indoor cockroach harborages.
Placing sticky traps near suspected roach harborages and in areas where roaches may travel to find food will indicate where indoor roaches are hiding. Sticky traps should always be placed in doorways, storage rooms, and beneath kitchen appliances. In closets and storage rooms, sticky traps should be placed along walls, near cabinets and along the door frame. Before placing sticky traps around a home, clutter should be removed and all interior living spaces should be sanitized in order to make sticky traps and bait products the only roach attractants available to the pests.
German cockroaches dwell solely indoors where they prefer to hide in cracks, crevices, and wall voids in warm areas near food. If German roaches are found congregating in a concealed harborage, a hair dryer can be used to flush them out, and the entrance to the harborage can then be sealed with caulk or another sealant product to exclude the pests. Not all sticky traps will collect roaches, but those that do must be located near a roach harborage, and the number of captured roaches on each sticky trap can indicate how extensive an infestation has become. While sticky traps are ideal for monitoring pests, they do not provide adequate control. Pest management professionals control roaches with vacuums, baits, dusts, or sprays, and many of the most effective German cockroach control products are only available to licensed professionals.
Have you ever successfully managed to eliminate a cockroach infestation in your home?