Mr. Pest Control


Q:

When is it legal to apply pesticides for bed bugs?

A:

In general, if you are applying a pesticide for a target pest to target sites listed on the label, you should be fine. Labels don’t necessarily address whether or not a pest MUST be present at the time of application. Ideally, pests would be present because direct treatments are better than indirect treatments that rely on a residual, especially for bed bugs. It’s also ideal for IPM reasons that pesticides not be applied when pests are not present. But these aren’t always realistic situations when customers have a history of pests or are in an area with high pest pressure.

Legally, you are fine on a federal level as long as you follow the label. If a label doesn’t say that pests MUST be present, then they don’t have to be present at the time of application. As for your state, search your state regulations for anything requiring pest presence before pesticide application. If you find something, then you have your answer. If not, you can double-check by calling your state pesticide licensing agency, although it can be difficult to get answers to this type of question, especially in writing.

Q:

How long after a German cockroach treatment with pyrethrins/pyrethroids, PBO and IGRs can we apply bait and place pheromone traps as a follow up treatment?

A:

I think it’s an odd approach to treat for German cockroaches first and then monitor later. Especially because the initial treatment includes highly repellent products that will scatter the roaches from areas they normally prefer to inhabit. It’s like dropping a bomb on a neighborhood and then taking a census of the buildings. Reversing the order of your treatments will be more effective.

First, inspect the account to find the sites where roaches are concentrated. These are the areas where treatment should be directed, preferably with a non-repellent product so the roaches don’t scatter. Then place monitors in these areas and throughout the account to monitor the treatment progress and movement of roaches in the account during follow-ups.

Because it’s important to keep tabs on the roaches, I don’t recommend repellent products unless there is a small pocket of roaches that needs to be knocked down quickly, maybe due to visibility. Starting off with guns blazing often leads to chasing the tail of the infestation.