The primary goal of a cockroach inspection is to locate as many cockroach hiding places or "harborages" as possible (to determine insecticide treatments and other management activities). It is also important to note safety considerations such as the location of pets and presence of small children. |
In many specialized or difficult accounts, proper inspection includes preparation of a diagram of the indoor and outdoor areas where the program will be conducted. This diagram should include notes on all cockroach sightings, areas where frass was spotted, conditions which are conducive to cockroach presence, sanitation problems, locations of sensitive areas (e.g., pets, children, invalids, sensitive people, sensitive equipment) and other treatment considerations.The tools required to conduct a professional cockroach inspection include a heavy-duty flashlight, a mechanic's mirror (to allow inspection of difficult cracks and crevices), a flushing agent (CB 80), and screwdrivers, pliers and other hand tools to open equipment panels or gain access to other possible cockroach harborage areas. Knee pads and a bump cap are useful when inspecting in those dark and difficult to reach areas, sometimes called "dead" spaces, which cockroaches often prefer.
When conducting a cockroach inspection indoors, especially for German cockroaches, it is important to spend time either sitting on the floor or crawling around. This allows a different perspective on all the available cockroach harborages. If all inspections (and treatments) are made from a standing position, important harborages, sanitation considerations and other factors are likely to be overlooked. Keep in mind that a cockroach crawls around with its head and antennae less than one inch from the floor, wall, or other surfaces. Thus, an inspection made with the head and eyes 5-6 feet above the floor does not permit the inspector to view the world in which the cockroach lives. It has often been said about cockroach management that, "You need to think like a cockroach!". In many ways, this is good advice-especially in the inspection and survey phase of the program. In addition to a floor level perspective, an above floor level perspective is required. Thus, a ladder is an important tool for proper inspections and treatments. This is especially true in commercial establishments such as restaurants and supermarkets which often have suspended or high ceilings.Keep in mind the behavior of the cockroach species involved and, if necessary, include an inspection of affected outdoor areas. Trees, shrubs, groundcovers, mulched areas, locations near food and water sources (pools and pet dishes), woodpiles, trash receptacles, door and window casings, roof areas, clogged rain gutters, and other possible harborages should be inspected if necessary. Attics, garages and crawl spaces should be considered for some species, particularly in regions with warm, moist climates.
Night inspections are another good technique occasionally necessary in difficult situations. When the cockroaches are normally out and foraging at night, you can gain a much better idea of where they are harboring and traveling. A type of yellow filter can be put over the flashlight lens to allow searching for German cockroaches without startling them. Their presence and movement can then be monitored more effectively, with less disruption of normal behavior. In this way, the professional can observe and trace cockroach movement to overlooked or unseen harborage areas.
A cockroach survey (trapping using monitors) is sometimes necessary to determine the extent of an infestation because even a thorough inspection will not reveal all the cockroach harborages, or where they are foraging most actively at night. Monitoring is particularly useful in large, complex accounts, and especially where there is a moderate to heavy level of infestation.
A second advantage to monitoring comes when the survey is repeated in the exact same manner some time after the management program is implemented. A basis for estimating the program's effectiveness is gained. This can be especially useful when the goal is total elimination, or zero cockroaches.
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