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Chickens With The Munchies

Friday August 31, 2012

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Mr Pest Control

Question:

I have a customer with American roaches in her shed. She's concerned if we treat the shed and kill the roaches the chickens next to the shed may get contaminated or hurt if they eat the dead roaches.

Mr Pest Control

Answer:

I really believe this is not a concern. The amount of actual insecticide active ingredient that is needed to kill a cockroach would be FAR too low to be harmful to the large chickens. However, it still would be a very good idea for you to ensure that dead cockroaches lying around are removed as soon as possible just to alleviate her fear. Frankly, roaches are pretty filthy animals, and the chickens probably stand a bigger risk of consuming some nasty bacteria and being made ill than they do any reaction to minute traces of insecticide. Poultry houses also routinely treat chickens directly with insecticides in an effort to kill the various bed bugs, lice, and mites that are common on these birds, so many insecticides can be used on and around the birds without harm to them. 


However, since she has voiced this concern to you it would be proper for you to spend some time helping her to feel comfortable with what you plan to use. I would suggest going online and downloading information on poultry that shows how insecticides are used on them for their health. Many of these may be pyrethroids that you could use yourself for the roaches. You also have many "natural" insecticide options. You also can use insect baits in stations that can be highly effective on these large roaches, and the active ingredients in many roach baits have extremely low toxicity to vertebrate animals. 

Along with your decision to use insecticides you should also do a careful inspection of this property to determine just why these roaches are there in the first place, and then do whatever you can to change that environment so that you remove the contributing conditions. The roaches are hiding somewhere, whether it is under things on the soil or within thick vegetation, so doing a major cleanup to eliminate that harborage will be very helpful in reducing the numbers of the roaches. On the shed itself you may be able to do void and crack and crevice treatments to kill the roaches without any exposure by the chickens to the products you use. Again, granular bait products are very effective but they MUST be secured within bait stations to prevent the chickens from accessing them. 

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.

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