Ahhh, sunny florida…lush tropical landscapes, sunny days, warm weather and …GERMAN ROACHES out the yin yang! For years, it seemed we had them under control and they were the exception and not the rule. Sure, we still had to contend with, what “snowbirds” refer to as “Palmetto Bugs” (which are actually just roaches, either American or Australian) but they are easy to control in comparison to the dreaded German Cockroach. Now you would think that a roach is a roach is a roach, but that is NOT THE CASE WITH GERMAN ROACHES. They are so blasted successful at reproduction that they can go from a roach or ten to a gross infestation in no time. They crawl across your dishes and foodstuff, they pee and poop all over the place as they walk about, and they nest in the most unusual places like inside Appliances, in Stereo Equipment, DVD players, Message Machines, Battery Operated Wall Clock, Coffee Pots, Microwaves, etc. If I didn’t know better, I would swear they are so smart that they know we Can’t Spray inside of those Appliances and they would be right, we can’t!
Now what happens is, people go to the department store or the discount chain stores and end up buying FOGGERS or ROACH HOTELS, or smelly, messy, PRE-MIXED products that DON’T WORK and, in fact, make the problem WORSE!! Sure, you may see some dead bugs, but, in the business, we call that “thrill of the kill.” What is actually happening is that when you set off a fogger (or the smoke equivalents) the roaches detect the chemical through “sphericals” (holes in their side that they breath through) and they go even deeper back into the cracks and crevices or wall voids that they were on their way out of. Once they are back there, they are reproducing like crazy and making many more roaches that will, you guessed it, make many more roaches. I have seen such severe cases of infestation that the roaches are in the oven, refrigerator and dishwashers AND falling off the door frames onto you when you open a door. GROSS!
Besides being embarrassing, a roach infestation can be financially impacting as well. Destroying or infested food, small appliances that are “buggered up” (pardon the expression) by their nests and sometimes damaged so bad that they have to be thrown away and replaced. And then there’s the health ramifications. Plain and simple, roaches carry disease such as dysentery which causes intestinal inflammation resulting in diarrhea containing mucus or blood, fever , etc. If left untreated this can, in the worst case scenario, be fatal. Roach dropping and shed casings have also been known to cause problems with Asthma sufferers and bring on attacks. Now, mind you, these problems don’t typically happen unless the problem is extreme, but if you have severe problems with Asthma or your immune system is compromised, it can certainly be an issue. Did I mention that roaches have been known to eat eyelashes and toenails? Just thought you might want to add that little bit of info to your new-found roach knowledge! LOL! So now, I’m sure you want to know what do,right?
STEP ONE: would be to do a thorough cleaning of all infested area (Unless, of course the infestation is soo bad that you can’t bear to be working in that area amongst the nastiness. If that is the case, you would start with Step Two, wait a few days and then go back in to finish the job completely. Get rid of all infested food, garbage, boxes, papers, shelf liners, paper products etc. and clean all the droppings and “roach dirt” off of shelves, out of appliances, off the walls, cupboards, counters and the like. Make sure you remove dishes, pots and pans, silverware, glasses, bakeware and basically everything OUT OF THE CABINETS. You will want to wash off all the items that may be covered with roach dirt before putting them back away, too.
STEP TWO: Now that the cabinets and drawers are empty and clean. You want to apply a BAIT product that the roaches will look at like it’s a food source. In my opinion, the most accepted and fast working bait is INDOXACARB. Roaches love it! To them it’s like a chocolate covered brownie covered with fudge syrup, whipped cream and a cherry on top! Irresistible. They take it back to their nest and share it with others AND as a bonus, when they die from the “slow release poison” it contains, the other roaches eat them and consume it as well–double whammy! The real trick is to use a LITTLE BIT OF BAIT, BUT IN A LOT OF AREAS. Usually pea-sized dots are sufficient and it is placed UNDER THE SHELVES AND DRAWERS – not on top where dishes and food are. This product will ensure that you get faster results, no doubt about it. The other area it needs to go, especially if you are in a duplex, or apartment situation where others reside in the same building, is behind the light switch covers and electrical outlet covers. It’s a good idea to wash the roach yuck off while you have the covers off.
The next step is a breeze. It is the ‘MAIN INGREDIENT,” so to speak. This application goes a long way and lasts about 4 -6 months (depending on the circumstances of your situation).
STEP THREE: You will be using two products mixed together for your initial treatment. One is an ADULTICIDE and the other is called an INSECT GROWTH REGULATOR (IGR). There are many to choose from in our professional arsenal of weaponry, but a few of my favorites are; CYPERMETHRIN AND HYDROPRENE, respectively. The Cypermethrin is going to leave a residual which will kill the ADULT stages of the roaches and other insects for about 4 months. The Hydroprene is, in essence, is BIRTH CONTROL for roaches. It will deform the adults and cause them to be unable to reporoduce. This will, in effect, put them “out of commission” so they don’t continue to breed back behind the wall voids and places that they nest and hide. FYI – Roaches can live without water for two weeks and without food for 3-4 weeks, so the roaches you see today, haven’t been out in at least a couple of weeks. Hence the importance of using the IGR!
The areas of treatment will be: along and behind the cracks and crevices of baseboards, door frames, window frames, sliding glass door tracts, underneath bathroom and kitchen sinks where the plumbing fixtures are, under the major appliances, stove, fridge, dishwasher, hot water heater, washer and dryer. Be mindful that treating cracks and crevices is the key to controlling these pests. You will also want to treat the garage perimeter, any storage our out buildings, around the A/C pad and garbage containers outdoors as well as the eaves (soffit and fascia) around the outside of the house. You will then USE UP THE REMAINING mixed chemical around the outside perimeter of the house. I like to spray up a foot and out a foot.
This should do it. You may need to do a follow-up using just the Cypermethrin in about 2-4 weeks if you continue to see live, fast-moving bugs, but usually the one treatment will cure a normal infestation. You will then [slideshow]follow-up about every 4-6 months with the Cypermethrin to keep things under control.
As always….ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURERS LABEL DIRECTIONS!
Be blessed, and until next time, Have a SAFE SPRAY!!