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Comparisons of toxic baits for controlling the cockroach, Blattella germanica: attractiveness and feeding stimulation

Durier, V., Rivault, C.
Medical and veterinary entomology 2000 v.14 no.4 pp. 410-418
Blattella germanica, baits, hydramethylnon, abamectin, baiting, boric acid, age, duration, feeding behavior, insect control, fipronil
Female German cockroaches, Blattella germanica (L.) (Dictyoptera: Blattellidae) and nymphs (stages 1, 3 and 6) were used to test the attractiveness and the feeding stimulation of several commercial gel formulations of insecticide food baits in laboratory binary choice tests. The four toxic gel baits tested were: 'Avert' (0.05% abamectin=avermectin B1), 'Drax' (33.3% boric acid), 'Goliath' (0.05% fipronil) and 'Maxforce' (2.15% hydramethylnon). The attractiveness of a bait was estimated by the number of cockroaches that chose it first, and by their tendency to change to it secondarily. Feeding stimulation was estimated by the mean duration of feeding bouts and total duration of food intake. Variability of these factors was assessed in relation to age of cockroaches and to age of baits. With a few exceptions, cockroach age did not affect performance in any of these tests. Attractiveness to B. germanica ranked 'Goliath' gel higher than 'Avert', 'Drax' and 'Maxforce' gels, whether or not the active ingredient fipronil was present in 'Goliath' gel. Feeding stimulation ranked 'Avert' and 'Maxforce' gels higher than 'Goliath' gel, and 'Drax' gel was inferior. With ageing up to 3 months, the feeding stimulation power of 'Goliath' and 'Maxforce' gels increased, whereas that of 'Avert' fluctuated. Assuming that all types of bait effectively kill cockroaches once ingested, these results illustrate the importance of behavioural observations on bait efficiency and show that ranking of these different food baits varies in relation to the parameter analysed.