Wednesday July 16, 2014

No More Rotation Blues

No one will argue the contributionthat the development of cockroach baits has had on our industry. Increases inefficacy, efficiencies and convenience—for both pest management professionals(PMPs) and our customers—changed the playing field for cockroach management.When reports stated that German cockroaches were no longer responding to gelbait placements, we had to act.

We also had to remain vigilant.Working with talented scientists has been a privilege and opportunity we continueto value. They have helped us understand that bait aversion cannot be “cured”by any means. The variability of the behavior and variation on aversion

triggers demonstrate thatthis challenge is a perfect example of “unnatural selection.” This occurs whena target population is exposed to the same control strategy, almostexclusively, over extended periods of time.

A paper published lastyear in Science by Ayako Wada-Katsumata, et al. (Science 340, 972 (2013): DOI:10.1126/science.1234854)identified a mechanism—which does not avoid and/or detoxify the insecticide—providinga mutation in taste receptors of glucoseaverse German cockroaches. As Bayerresearchers have collected suspect cockroach field strains, we routinely screenthem for insecticide resistance. While the majority of German cockroachpopulations remain susceptible to the insecticide concentrations used in baits,we are finding more cases of increased tolerance to some of our favorite baitactive ingredients. University researchers are beginning to see this trend,too.

PMPs who are rotating gelbaits may be misled in their current rotation strategies. Why? Because, fundamentally,most current cockroach gel matrices are similar in composition. The mutation inaverse strains is sensitive to the food, not to the insecticide.

Bayer will be introducingnew Maxforce Impact and by combining a new active ingredient and, importantly, anew bait matrix designed with rotation in mind, we believe we can meet PMPs’needs for a true, rotationready gel bait. Our solution has already received theEPA’s

“reduced-risk” status andincorporates a proprietary feeding stimulant delivered through the technologyin the matrix. This Maxforce bait is free of the “big eight” allergens, meaninguse in sensitive accounts, including school integrated pest management programsand food processing/manufacturing sites, is supported.