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Rye bread and synthetic bread odorants – effective trap bait and lure for German cockroaches

Pol, Joshua, Gries, Regine, Gries, Gerhard
Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 2018 v.166 no.2 pp. 81-93
Blattella germanica, aldehydes, bait traps, beers, bioassays, breads, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, headspace analysis, insecticides, ketones, laboratory experimentation, laboratory rearing, males, odor compounds, pests, rye
Bread‐in‐beer and bread‐in‐water are prevalent home recipe trap baits for attracting German cockroaches (GCRs), Blattella germanica (L.) (Dictyoptera: Blattellidae), which are significant urban pests. Our objectives were to (1) test the attractiveness of these baits, (2) study the underlying factors of GCR attraction, and (3) determine whether a blend of synthetic bread odorants could replace bread in a trap lure. In large‐arena laboratory experiments with laboratory‐reared GCR males, traps baited with rye bread not only captured eightfold more males than unbaited control traps but also most males released into bioassay arenas. Neither beer nor water enhanced the attractiveness of bread. Bread crust as a bait was more effective than bread crumbs. As Porapak Q headspace volatile extracts of rye bread attracted GCRs, all rye bread odorants in extracts were identified by gas chromatography‐mass spectrometry. Synthetic rye bread odorants and other known bread odorants were then assembled into a master blend. This master blend, and even partial blends lacking certain groups of organic volatiles such as aldehydes and ketones, proved very attractive to GCRs. We conclude that rye bread could be used as an effective bait in retainer traps or, laced with insecticide, as a food source in bait stations. A lure of synthetic bread odorants may eventually replace bread as bait, but the minimum number of essential odorants for that lure has yet to be determined.