Mr. Pest Control


Q:

Our company recently received a request for a quote for a small reptile zoo. What kinds of pesticides should we be using at this kind of establishment?

A:

I think that approach is a bit off. Maybe the thought instead should be how to provide pest management without using pesticides, at least indoors (I’m assuming this is an indoor zoo) because I’m sure they raise feeder insects.

So the first line of defense would be monitoring, in which case you’d have to discuss with the customer their preference (How many times have we caught escaped pet reptiles on glue boards in residential accounts?). After monitoring, it’s possible that some pests present indoors can be managed outdoors, like many ants, ground beetles, millipedes, etc. If that’s the case, then you don’t have to be as selective about what pesticide is applied. For pests that need to be managed indoors, like pharaoh ants and German cockroaches, it’s best to apply bait formulations, although German cockroaches, like crickets, probably won’t make it very long in a reptile zoo.

So, overall, the approach should be to monitor first, treat outdoors when possible and bait indoors when necessary.

Q:

We are currently servicing a commercial kitchen and the German cockroaches there seem to be getting worse. Our approach so far has been to use a non-repellent spray along with cockroach bait that includes an IGR. We have had success with this in the past but it isn’t working in this account. The customer is having the kitchen cleaned often, but they have on occasion used repellent products when there is an outbreak, sometimes after it gets cleaned. We’ve also noticed some roaches coming from the tiled ceiling and will be going out there with a ladder to look above the tiles. Is it common for them to be up high like that? The common theme here seems to be to inspect thoroughly and directly treat pockets of roaches. Can you please explain how to do a good, thorough inspection and find these pockets? Also, would buying a ULV machine make sense for treating German roaches?

A:

Pest management is comparable to hunting, which requires knowledge of the animal and skill. The more a PMP deals with a pest, the better they should get at finding them because different situations teach what a pest is capable of. Besides being observant and using a flashlight, the most important inspection tool is sticky monitors. They need to be in as many places as possible throughout the kitchen to find pockets, to gauge the extent of the infestation and to provide feedback on treatment progress.

This situation sounds like a large infestation that’s going to take time to manage. I’ve experienced large infestations that have taken months to resolve. They didn’t become large infestations overnight and they can’t be resolved that quickly either. As long as progress is being made, it’s normal to experience setbacks along the way.

German cockroaches aren’t usually in drop ceilings unless the population has gotten so large that they have no choice or repellent space treatments were applied and pushed survivors up into the ceiling. ULV equipment makes sense for treating German cockroaches in drop ceilings or wall voids, although I still don’t recommend using repellent products for this purpose. You may be successful treating these areas with a non-repellent aerosol or dust formulation before deciding to purchase ULV equipment.