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.)
Two bad things happen when you use a contact insecticide in the same area where baiting programs are implemented: your bait is contaminated and any domino effect will be neutralized. If you contaminate your roach bait with another insecticide, the bait will no longer be attractive to the targeted roach population. If you kill a roach with an insecticide spray, it will die before it passes the bait on to the rest of the roach population, thus killing your domino effect. The same is true when baiting for ants. You want the foraging worker ants to carry your bait back to the nest where all ants will consume the bait.
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, ants, silverfish 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.
With the new baits being used today, we do not want the roaches to be killed too quickly. As strange as this may sound, it is true. A great example of this is Fipronil, an active ingredient used in professional baits such as Maxforce FC Roach Bait Gel, Maxforce FC Roach Bait Stations, Maxforce FC Ant Bait Stations.
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.
Roaches that feed on a Fipronil bait usually die approximately 72 hours after feeding. During this time period, these roaches leave a great deal of droppings behind for other roaches to find. If the roaches were to die too fast, there would not be enough feces to transmit the bait to other roaches. Through this domino effect, one roach feeding on the bait can actually kill 30 or 40 more roaches! Up to 10 generations of German Cockroaches can be killed by a single application of Maxforce FC roach bait.
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.
Bait stations are not nearly as popular as they were in the past. Since the introduction of professional gel formulations, many people have chosen gels over stations when preventing or exterminating cockroach infestations.
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.
Gels, on the other hand, are more versatile and economical to use.
Young roaches that cannot always feed on solid baits (such as those found in roach bait stations) can easily feed on gel baits. Besides the newer, improved attractants now being used in baits, gels have the extra advantage of being moist. Moisture is a well known attractant to roaches. German roaches, for example, are usually found in warm, moist locations such as underneath sinks or around plumbing lines in a kitchen or bathroom.
Gels also pose less possible hazards or risks to non-target animals, children and pets.
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.
There are baits that are available in aerosol cans. These cans look like any other aerosol but they dispense a gel instead of an aerosol mist. Crack and crevice straw attachments are provided with this type of bait. Avert and Siege are professional roach baits that are available in aerosol form. [Many pest control operators will use Siege in rotation with Maxforce FC if they suspect that a particular German cockroach population has started to avoid a bait. In rare cases, roaches might actually be repelled by a bait, instead of being attracted to the material. We see this bait “avoidance” in approximately 1 in 500 cases. Avoidance is not reported often; most reported cases are suspect because the pest control technician involved admits to spraying or fogging the area where the bait is being placed. Combining insecticide sprays with an insect bait is a very bad idea.]
Several brands of granular baits are available: Advance Carpenter Ant Bait,
Niban, Maxforce and Baygon are the most popular of the professional line of insect baits produced in granular form. Granules are used in attics, crawl spaces, wall voids and outdoors. This type of material is easily broadcast over areas such as lawns, flower beds or other mulched areas where insect pests that are most likely to enter a home originate. Each of these baits has its uses.
Niban G, Maxforce Granular Bait and Baygon Bait are granular products used in roach control. Niban baits are popular with those who desire to use only Borate insecticides. Niban G is a larger granule that will hold up better than Niban FG, when used in mulched areas around the exterior of buildings. Niban FG is often applied with a Crusader hand bellows duster. Targeted sites are wall voids, behind light switch covers or other areas where roaches or silverfish might crawl, hidden from view.
Baygon Bait is the best to use for eliminating larger, outdoor roaches (American Cockroach, Smoky Brown Cockroach, Surinam, etc.) and crickets that enter homes. Baygon bait can be used outdoors as well as in wall voids, attics, basements.
Maxforce Granular Baits are labeled for controlling a variety of ants and roaches.
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.