It's A Mall World After All

Monday May 14, 2007


Mr Pest Control


I am a private pest control operator for a mall, and I've run out of methods to control the German roach problem at the foodcourt area. I've used many products - talstar, demon, demand, boric acids, etc. We have approximately 30 restaurants and the service is being done once a month. Please give me advice on what methods or products I can use.

Mr Pest Control


It may come across as a little simplistic on my part, but I assure you that all of the products you have used so far will kill German Roaches very effectively if....... that nasty word "if"...... the roach and the active ingredient are coming together for a sufficient length of time. I don't think we should consider resistance to pesticides as the problem, so if roaches are still active in these areas they must be hiding in places that you still have not discovered and treated. Even with some amount of repellency that might be a factor with pyrethroids (like talstar, demon, demand), I believe that a roach is going to rest on a treated surface if you have been able to place your product into that harborage point.

So, I suggest NOT applying any more insecticides at the moment, but go back to the knee pads and flashlight and go on an inspection mission with a fresh pair of eyes. Quite often we can get so used to an account that we overlook the obvious, and when someone new points it out to us we slap our forehead and go "why of course!!". You are challenged by having a HUGE place to deal with, and as someone once said, you eat an elephant by starting with the first bite. Instead of facing the entire complex of restaurants, pick a single one where the roaches seem to be the worst, and even within this single unit pick just one wall. Go step by step and examine everything on that wall from floor to ceiling, including equipment against it.

This is your opportunity to provide a fantastic SANITATION INSPECTION for the management of these restaurants, and I have long been a fan of the WRITTEN inspection form. You should be able, fairly easily, to create a nice looking form on your computer, customized for your company, that lists all of the inspection points in a food service account - heck, customize is with a fancy looking title on top that says "Sanitation Inspection for Food Service Accounts" so that the customer recognizes it as just for them. Now you can list all of those things that you find that THEY - the customer - need to address in order for YOU to achieve the pest management they need. This could be sanitation and cleaning issues, elimination of harborage or access to harborage issues, etc. The roaches exist in these accounts because their earthly needs are being provided for them by the restaurants, and as much of the food, water, and harborage as you can take away, the better the roach control.

Inspect, inspect, inspect, clean, fill in harborage, fix water leaks, remove food, etc., and in the process you probably will stumble upon some roach hiding places that have been overlooked. Now, you can continue to use the same products you have been, but always placing them directly into the small voids and the cracks and crevices in which the roaches hide, giving you the best chance to get the roaches to sit on the active ingredient. Do not do baseboard treatments for roaches. Do not fog the air for roaches. Do not count on glue pads for roach control, but only for inspecting. Do not allow the customer to tell you how to do roach control, or to keep you from inspecting ANY place in each account, such as lockers or offices. I suggest also that you try a variety of roach bait products, including gel baits placed only in cracks, crevices, or small voids, and granular baits placed into larger voids. Baits work very well, but you need to get the roaches to eat them, and trying a variety helps.

Mr. Pest Control

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Please note, Mr. Pest Control is answering questions supplied by PMP customers across North America. His answers are generated from industry and manufacturer-provided information. The answer may not be specific to the laws and regulations for your State, Province, Territory or Country. In addition, products mentioned may not be registered and or available in all areas. Always check with your local Univar office for specific information to your area. Always read and follow label directions.