Pest management, as we know it, did not come into existence until around the 1940’s – around the time of the advent and discovery of the insecticidal properties of DDT. Before and during this time, entomologists were hard at work studying an insect that had already gained a foothold in American homes, the “croton bug” or as it came to be known, the German Cockroach, Blattella germanica. Prior to the first world war, German cockroaches were known as “croton bugs” and were notorious for infesting tenement buildings, dwelling homes, meat shops, hotels and water-pipes. They have been a constant problem in American homes since the turn of the last century.
the sheer number of eggs (30-50) that can be contained in a single egg case means control is a numbers game in which they have the advantage.
A common question we as an industry receive is “Why are cockroaches so successful?” To answer that, we need to examine how cockroaches and specifically German cockroaches live their lives. The first thing to consider is their egg case, or ootheca. These purse shaped egg depositories are the first of many defensive plays cockroaches have developed – They are impervious to almost all insecticides, protect the eggs from desiccation, and are often dropped just before hatching in secluded, protected environments.
The next hurdle we must overcome is the nymphal stages. German cockroaches have loose family groups and there is some parental care, further protecting offspring. After adulthood and mating the female cockroaches safeguard the next generation by holding the ootheca until just before hatch. And finally, the sheer number of eggs (30-50) that can be contained in a single egg case means control is a numbers game in which they have the advantage.
READ NEXT ARTICLE: Cockroaches Carry Dangerous Pathogens
Another factor in their extremely successful existence is their ability to not only reproduce extremely rapidly, but to quickly adapt to their ever-changing environments. In just a few generations, major changes can be made to entire populations of insects, rendering control efforts useless. This is made possible by a relatively simple genetic makeup.
Unfortunately, the cockroaches do not go quietly into the night; they evolved to survive and they do it well.
Of the common peri-domestic and domestic cockroaches, the German cockroach is by far the most infamous. It seems every year newer and better products are developed to help PMPs provide management, including non-repellent insecticides, bait products, insect growth regulators and new bait formulations. Unfortunately, the cockroaches do not go quietly into the night; they evolved to survive and they do it well.
As an industry, we have faced chemical resistance to many common insecticides and behavioral resistance in the form of bait aversion. These problems have led to increased call backs, and ultimately, the possible loss of the service account… and yet we continue the fight. A recent innovation by CSI is Tekko Pro, which is quickly becoming the insect growth regulator of choice for many PMPs for cockroach control. Tekko Pro’s dual IGR mode of action provides unprecedented control of German cockroaches, killing immature insects rather than causing the typical crinkled wings. No adult roaches equals happier customers.
We as an industry have a duty to provide excellent pest management to our clients and customers under the current restrictions and challenges. Control Solutions, Inc. continues to innovate creative solutions to cockroach problems and other pests. Our mission is to develop synergistic products using Combination Chemistry® to help in the resistance management fight as well as better formulations to advance every PMPs results and income potential.
Director Product Development & Regulatory