Controlling Cockroaches Requires Diligence and Customer Cooperation


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Cockroaches are indicators that something is probably amiss in a commercial and/or residential building. For example, if a commercial kitchen has cockroaches, it’s very possible that other pests are entrenched due to a lack of proper sanitation maintenance. Once introduced in structures, cockroaches can establish quickly and become an issue.

Sanitation along with a proper rotation of baits, powders and liquids is needed to gain control. Borate powders work well against insect species that groom heavily – such as cockroaches. Access points such as drains are conduits for roaches; treat drains with properly labeled borate powders and insect growth regulators. Use liquid residual insecticides in between appliances and hard-to-reach areas. Note that with crack and crevice application, one avoids contamination of other liquid insecticides. (It is always wise to separate the use of the two formulations to prevent avoidance and resistance.) Engage and educate customers about doing their part to control cockroaches with sanitation and proper trash removal.

Example: American Cockroaches

American cockroaches are one of the hardiest urban insect pests. Development to adult can take over a year, and they tend to aggregate in large numbers. They prefer dark, cool places but in the summer months, it is not uncommon for them to present themselves outside. They also have a habit of invading buildings via drain systems and using connected sewer systems as conduits among adjacent buildings and among the stories of individual buildings. Unfortunately, the presence of dead individuals tends to give the customer a false opinion of current control. Initial treatment must be intensive: liquid residual insecticides with insect growth regulators, baits and dusts in voids and borate dust/liquid solutions in drains – particularly leading to sewer entries. Follow-up maintenance must be done soon afterwards to focus on residual populations (this includes removing dead individuals). Taking on American cockroach problem accounts requires diligence and organized preparation.

Crack and Crevice Baiting

Of all the formulations, baits have become one of the most popular, and gel baits are a staple in cockroach management. Bait attractiveness is dependent on the environmental conditions in which the target cockroach species resides.  Usually, bait attractiveness competes with other food sources, so proper placement of bait is paramount to boost attractiveness and efficacy significantly.

In a crack and crevice treatment, place small amounts directly into cracks and crevices, including areas between different elements of construction, equipment and floors, openings leading to void and hollow spaces in walls, equipment legs and bases, and conduits and motor housings where cockroaches hide. Apply the product liberally in other numerous crack and crevice areas such as under and behind refrigerators, stoves, sinks, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, along baseboards, and in corners of cabinets, cupboards and closets; be sure to remove drawers in kitchen and bathroom cabinets and apply in the corner cracks. Concentrate where plumbing penetrates walls, as roaches follow moisture. 

Professional Roach Bait from Nisus Corporation (# 793610) has a long and successful history of crack and crevice cockroach control in a variety of situations:

  • Non-corrosive insecticidal bait packaged in convenient reservoir tubes for easy, fast application.
  • Specifically formulated as a crack and crevice treatment for cockroach elimination.
  • Contains boric acid and proprietary ingredients.
  • Used successfully for decades in numerous conditions, including large urban public housing projects.


Cockroaches carry disease and allergies, so use caution and wear proper protective clothing, particularly in unsanitary conditions. Always read and understand the product label before you apply any pesticide. Be sure to educate your customers about sanitation and maintain a regular rotation of baits appropriate to the conditions.

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