This study assessed the cost and effectiveness of a building-wide cockroach integrated pest management (IPM) program compared with bait alone treatment in public housing. In total, 12 buildings (66 apartments) were treated and monitored for cockroach infestations over 7 mo. The buildings were divided into two groups: bait treatment and IPM. Apartments in the bait alone group were treated with Maxforce FC Select (0.01% fipronil) during the first 12 wk and Maxforce Roach Killer Bait Gel (2.15% hydramethylnon) from 16 wk when necessary. For the IPM group, cockroaches were flushed and vacuumed at the beginning of the study; sticky traps were placed in all apartments to monitor and reduce cockroach numbers; educational materials were delivered to the residents; and Maxforce FC Select and Maxforce Roach Killer Bait Gel were applied to kill cockroaches. Two seminars were presented to the manger, and Community Service Program staff of the Gary Housing Authority to help gain tenant cooperation in the program. Effects of the treatments were monitored using sticky traps (six per apartment) at 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 29 wk after treatment. More treatments were applied during each monitoring visit when necessary. Those apartments with high levels of infestations (≥12 cockroaches in six traps) before treatment were used to compare the IPM and bait only treatments. IPM resulted in significantly greater trap catch reduction than the bait treatment. The IPM (n = 12) and bait only treatment (n = 11) resulted in 100.0 and 94.6%, respectively, reduction in trap catch after 16 wk. At 29 wk, only one apartment in the IPM group had a high level (>12 cockroaches) of cockroach infestation. In contrast, five apartments in the bait treatment group had high level infestations at 29 wk based on overnight trapping counts; thus, IPM is a more sustainable method of population reduction. Sanitation levels in the IPM group significantly improved at 29 wk (n = 11) compared with that at the beginning of the study. The sanitation levels in the bait treatment group remained similar throughout the experiment (n = 9). The cumulative cost of IPM was significantly higher than that of the bait treatment. The median costs per apartment during 29 wk were $64.8 and $35.0 for the IPM and bait treatment, respectively. The median amount of bait used per apartment in the IPM and bait treatment was 45.0 and 50.0 g, respectively. The cost of the IPM group for the 29 wk service was similar to that of the bait treatment group. We expect that IPM will provide better control at similar cost compared with bait treatment beyond 29 wk.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science
- Blattella germanica
- Integrated pest management
- Public housing