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Cockroach Bait

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Cockroach bait is a simple and very effective way to exterminate cockroaches from a dwelling place, restaurant, or other building. The bait combines a low dose of lethal insecticide with a food source that attracts the cockroaches. The level of insecticide is kept intentionally low so that the insects do not die immediately after ingesting the bait. Instead, they return to the nesting site and communicate with the other cockroaches about the new food source. In this way, all of the cockroaches will eventually eat the poison bait.

Indoor Cockroach Bait

Most indoor cockroach bait preparations come in a gel form, sometimes enclosed in bait stations and sometimes applied directly to surfaces in the home. Which type to choose depends on the severity of the cockroach infestation and how likely children and pets are to come in contact with the bait.

Cockroach Bait Stations

Bait stations are like little houses with doorways that cockroaches can enter but that are small enough to keep the insecticide safely out of reach to children and pets. The stations can be placed virtually anywhere that cockroaches travel as they forage for food.

  • Inside cabinets
  • Behind small appliances
  • Under and behind large appliances
  • Under sinks

Depending on the number of cockroaches visiting a bait station, it may last anywhere from a week to a month. The stations must be replaced as quickly as they run out of bait, or the cockroaches will return to foraging elsewhere. Baits are only effective if kept continually available until the entire cockroach population is eliminated.

Direct Application of Cockroach Bait

A professional exterminator may suggest using a gel bait in buildings with heavy infestations, especially if other treatment options have not been completely effective. Applying gel bait directly does pose more of a risk to children and pets, and it's important to discuss this with the pest control professional before application.

Gel bait can be applied to cracks around cabinets, the back edges of counter tops, along baseboards, and in other locations where cockroaches travel. Of course, the bait should never be applied to food preparation areas. Directly-applied gel bait can be more effective than bait stations because the cockroaches may become covered in the bait as they crawl through. This provides even more exposure to the insecticide, for the covered cockroach and for the others that it comes near.

Outdoor Cockroach Bait

In very hot areas of the United States, it can be necessary to use cockroach bait around the exterior of the home throughout the year. Outdoor bait preparations are formulated to withstand rainfall and high temperatures. These baits are most often in a granular form that can be sprinkled around the home's foundation. Even though granular outdoor bait is weather-resistant, it will need to be reapplied after periods of heavy rainfall.

Monitoring Cockroach Bait & Population

The success of cockroach baits depends upon placing them in the correct locations and keeping the bait continuously supplied. Professional exterminators use cockroach traps, a sort of sticky box that catches the cockroaches and prevents their escape, to monitor the number of insects in a particular area. These traps may be placed in the vicinity of each bait station or application of gel bait. By checking the traps frequently, once each day for the first week and every few days thereafter, you and your exterminator will be able to determine how significant the cockroach infestation is and how much it is declining after the baits are in place.

If a trap reveals very little or no activity near a bait station, for example, that station should likely be moved elsewhere. It may be a good idea to use traps in numerous locations at first to determine the best areas to place bait stations. In addition to checking the traps, the bait itself will need to be checked frequently. The exterminator may return periodically to check the bait, replenishing it as needed, or you may receive instructions about doing this yourself.

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