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How Do Insect Growth Regulators Eliminate Cockroach Infestations?

How Do Insect Growth Regulators Eliminate Cockroach Infestations?

Much research has been conducted on insect biology, particularly insect pest biology. It should not be surprising to learn that entomologists sometimes discover new ways to control insect pests while studying insect biology. For example, it has long been known that insect behaviors are largely influenced by pheromones, and not long ago, researchers gained the ability to synthesize some insect pheromones for the purpose of insect pest control. Synthesized compounds that mimic the pheromones involved in insect mating and food acquisition are now used to lure certain insect pests to bait stations.

Research on insect maturation led to the development of a class of insecticides known as insect growth regulators (IGRs). Insect growth regulators contain chemicals that alter the physical development of insect pests, ultimately making them unable to reproduce. Since most IGRs render insect pests sterile rather than killing them, several weeks must pass before IGRs fully eliminate an infestation. Despite this, IGRs are favored by many homeowners due to the low amount, or complete absence of toxic substances they contain. IGRs are widely used to control termites, and they are one of the few reliable methods of German cockroach control.

The IGRs known as “juvenoids” contain synthesized compounds that mimic the natural growth hormones of insect pests. When cockroach nymphs are exposed to a juvenoid IGR, they either molt into sterile adults with abnormal physical features, or they remain nymphs. While IGRs are highly effective at eliminating entire German cockroach populations from homes, they are often used in combination with minimal insecticide applications while homeowners wait for IGRs to begin showing results. Some IGRs also stimulate feeding activity among pests, which is useful for controlling German cockroaches that are known for avoiding baits, as stimulating their appetite makes bait acceptance more likely. Some IGRs are chitin synthesis inhibitors, and they work by inhibiting the growth of new exoskeletons after developing larvae or nymphs shed their old ones. Chitin synthesis inhibitors result in death during the developmental stages, and they are often used with success for controlling termites.

Do you think that the next decade will see the introduction of new and more effective pest control methods?

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Where In Homes Do German Cockroaches Mate And Lay Eggs?

The only four cockroach pests that can be found in abundance within all states in the contiguous US are the American, German, Oriental and brown-banded cockroach species. While these four species are the most common cockroach pests found in Arizona homes, the Turkestan cockroach, which can only be found in the southwest, has become one of the ten most commonly managed cockroach species in the US. This is surprising, considering the Turkestan cockroach was first discovered in the US as recently as 1978, while the four most common roach species have all inhabited the US for centuries, with the exception of the brown-banded species. Despite its recent introduction into the US, the Turkestan cockroach is rapidly displacing the Oriental cockroach in urban and suburban areas of the southwest.

While the Turkestan cockroach is like most roach pest species in that it dwells primarily outdoors, the German and brown-banded species dwell primarily indoors. The brown-banded cockroach has only inhabited the US for a little more than a century, while the German cockroach has been a pest in North America since the colonial era. Due to centuries of habitat expansion, the German cockroach is encountered within American homes far more often than the brown-banded cockroach. The German cockroach is easily the most commonly encountered and difficult cockroach pest to eradicate from infested structures, and this is largely due to the species’ resistance to virtually all insecticide formulations.

Although cockroaches do not live in colonies like ants and termites, they are somewhat socially oriented, as they live in groups to maximize resources. Male and female adults also become rather choosy when selecting mates, and they are known to communicate by mutual antennae contact as a courtship ritual. Fertile males and females locate secluded areas, such as narrow cracks and crevices within wall voids, for a proper site in which to mate for a period of 80 minutes or so. German cockroaches proliferate within wall voids and other inaccessible indoor areas rapidly, and females carry their egg cases (ootheca) for days before eventually dropping them shortly before they hatch. This is why homeowners are unlikely to locate German cockroach eggs within infested homes.

Have you ever positively identified a German cockroach specimen within your home?

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Why Cockroaches Are Sometimes Found In Toilets, Bathtubs And Sinks

Why Cockroaches Are Sometimes Found In Toilets, Bathtubs And Sinks

The relatively mild winter climate and mountainous landscapes in southern Arizona make the region an ideal place to live for many people. Unfortunately, Arizona is also home to a large number of cockroach species that invade houses where they often establish a sizable infestation. The most common cockroach pest species worldwide can all be found in Arizona, including American, Oriental and German cockroaches. A few other species, like the desert cockroach, maintain a habitat solely within the desert southwest, and other species in the state, such as brown-banded, Turkestan and Surinam cockroaches, live in habitats that are limited to the southern US.

Cockroaches have adapted to living within human dwellings, and they are capable of exploiting a variety of access points in order to invade houses. This is especially true when it comes to domestic cockroach species, like German and brown-banded cockroaches, that dwell primarily within structures. The peridomestic cockroach species, the 2 inch American cockroach, is even capable of traveling through sewage pipes in order to enter houses through drains, and once inside, cockroaches expertly navigate indoor areas to gather food and maintain a safe shelter. Despite being well adapted to thriving indoors, many residents have found cockroaches struggling to escape toilet bowels, bathtubs and sinks.

As anyone can understand, people are perplexed upon finding cockroaches in their toilet. This sort of discovery begs the question as to how cockroaches can wind up in a toilet. Finding cockroaches in a sink makes more sense, as sinks often contain food scraps that cockroaches seek, but roaches are often found in bathtubs and sinks that are completely clean. The cockroaches found in toilets, sinks and tubs are most likely Oriental cockroaches. These cockroaches are not capable of flight and they move slowly and sluggishly. Oriental cockroaches cannot climb vertical surfaces well, and when they fall into sinks, tubs and toilets, they are unable to escape due to the smooth surface. Since cockroaches prefer moist conditions, it is not surprising that they often gravitate into bathrooms, and while finding roaches in a toilet may be perplexing, a toilet is probably the best place to find cockroaches within a home.

Have you ever found roaches in the toilet?



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Restaurant Is Forced To Close After A Patron Finds A Cockroach In His Burrito

It is an unfortunate fact that restaurant kitchens attract cockroaches and other insects. This is not surprising considering the vast amounts of food waste that are produced in restaurants on a daily basis. Exercising strict sanitation practices is the best cooks and managers can do to control insect pests in restaurant kitchens. Every once in awhile, cockroaches will literally wind up in the food that is served to patrons. One cannot help but to wonder how this occurs, as you would think that nothing could be easier than preventing giant roaches from crawling into the meals cooked in restaurants. This scenario occurred recently at a restaurant in Sacramento. Apparently, a cockroach was found in a customer’s burrito. In addition to finding a cockroach in a customer’s burrito, health inspectors found dozens of cockroaches infesting the establishment’s kitchen. Due to these egregious violations concerning safe food production, the restaurant was forced to close.

The Sacramento County Health Department recently received a complaint from a customer telling them about a cockroach in the burrito that he was served at Carolina’s mexican restaurant. This complaint, as you would expect, was taken seriously by health officials, and they wasted no time before conducting an inspection of the eatery. Not surprisingly, inspectors found dozens of cockroaches infesting the kitchen. In all, nearly 60 live cockroaches were found in the establishment. As many as 30 of these live cockroaches were found directly in the main cook’s station where food is made. While this infestation cannot be good for business, the restaurant was recently reopened after the owners eradicated the pest presence. In addition to this particular restaurant, health inspectors found cockroach infestations within three other restaurants in the Sacramento area. Luckily for the owners, each restaurant managed to correct the problem, and all three have since passed inspections. However, it is hard to imagine anyone not having serious reservations about attending these formerly infested restaurants.

Have you ever spotted a small insect in a meal that you had been served at a restaurant?




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Cockroach Prevention is Necessary for Protecting Health

Cockroach Prevention is Necessary for Protecting Health | Phoenix Pest Control Experts

Often times when people are experiencing allergy and asthma symptoms, they automatically chalk it up to the time of year without considering that their stuffy nose and itchy eyes could actually be triggered by the presence of cockroaches in their home. In addition to exacerbating asthma and allergy symptoms, cockroaches are also capable of spreading 33 kinds of bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli. This makes it all the more important to take the necessary steps to eliminate food, water and harborage sites for cockroaches within the home.

Maintaining excellent sanitation is one of the best practices in protecting the home against cockroaches. Magic Pest Control recommends the below cleaning tips:

  • Kitchen: Keep counters, sinks, tables and floors meticulously clean every day. Clean dishes, crumbs and spills right away, store food in airtight containers and always avoid leaving food out—including pet food. Vacuum any crumbs stuck in corners and around cabinets, and regularly clean cabinets out with soap and water. Check under sinks and clean under appliances for moisture issues, and quickly address any found.
  • Bathroom: Cockroaches are attracted to moisture and can only survive for a week without water, so always wipe up standing water around sinks, tubs and toilets. Fix leaky faucets and ensure sinks are clear of water before bedtime—cockroaches are nocturnal and will typically emerge to search for water and food at night when the house is dark and quiet.
  • Basement: Eliminate clutter where possible to reduce hiding spaces for cockroaches. Basement windows and areas where weather-stripping has become worn are frequent points of access for cockroaches, so homeowners should be sure to seal any cracks or crevices using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.

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Cockroaches: Why They Are So Hard to Control

Cockroaches: Why They Are So Hard to Control

Magic Pest Control  explores why these reviled pests can be difficult to eliminate from homes

Cockroaches are some of the most adaptable pests on Earth. These long-despised creepy creatures have been around for more than 280 million years, and in this time have evolved to display some unique behaviors and survival tactics that allow them to thrive in many different environments, including homes. Magic Pest control reminds homeowners that while controlling cockroaches can be particularly challenging, doing so is vital to protecting human health.

Cockroaches are known to cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. These pests can also spread 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella. If spotted, homeowners should call a pest professional to evaluate the severity of the problem and recommend a course of treatment.

Magic Pest Control offers insight into what makes cockroaches so difficult to control without the help of professional pest control services:

  •  Resilience. Cockroaches can live for up to a week without their heads. They can also hold their breath for 40 minutes and even survive being submerged in water for half an hour. Additionally, some species are able to withstand freezing temperatures.
  • Small size.Cockroaches are small pests, so they can easily hide in cracks and crevices. Male cockroaches can fit through an opening as small as 1/16 inch in width or the thickness of a quarter.
  • Quick speed.Cockroaches are very fast and can run up to three miles an hour. A newborn cockroach, which is about the size of a speck of dust, runs nearly as fast as its parents.
  • Irregular feeding habits.Cockroaches can survive for up to one month without food and one week without water. They are omnivores and are attracted to all types of foods, including sugars, proteins and fats.


To prevent cockroaches, Magic Pest Control suggests keeping a meticulously clean kitchen, eliminating moisture in bathrooms, sealing all cracks and crevices inside and outside the home and keeping basements and crawlspaces dry and well-ventilated.