Water Solutions of Boric Acid and Sugar for Management of German Cockroach Populations in Livestock Production Systems

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Pest management in confinement swine production relies primarily on calendar-based applications of broad-spectrum insecticides. However, regulatory restrictions imposed by the U.S. Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, the large financial obligation of pesticide registration, and development of insecticide resistance have led to a renewed search for alternative control methods. Boric acid dust has long served as an insecticide in urban pest management and has been shown an effective alternative for use in sensitive environments such as swine production. However, dust formulations are difficult to apply and require specialized equipment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of liquid baits containing boric acid for the control of German cockroaches in a commercial swine nursery. Bait, consisting of 1 or 2% boric acid and 0.5 M sucrose, was deployed in 21 bait delivery tubes per room. Results of a 2-yr study showed significant reductions in cockroach populations. When baits were withdrawn in the summer, the cockroach population increased significantly faster than when the baits were removed during the winter. These data indicate that liquid formulations of boric acid effectively reduce the burden of cockroach infestation in swine production. This approach should have applications in structures in other urban and agricultural environments.

Keywords: German cockroach; boric acid; insecticide bait; integrated pest management; swine production

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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