Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/3/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Many food and chemical materials have been tested in cockroach bait formulations in an attempt to improve bait attractiveness. Aggregation pheromone is a natural attractant known to influence German cockroach behavior. The pheromone is produced in the rectal pads of the cockroach and passed with the feces. An extract of German cockroach fecal material has never been evaluated as a supplementary bait attractant. The purpose of this study was to determine if the addition of fecal extract to a food source (bait) or to a harborage (bait station) could influence cockroach bait consumption. Having fecal extract located inside a harborage (either on the food source or located next to the food) attracted more cockroaches to that harborage. However, the addition of fecal extract to the food source did not improve consumption and actually reduced consumption at the high dose levels (1000 æl). The placement of fecal extract next to the food source significantly improved cockroach consumption. German cockroach preferential selection of harborages (bait trays) containing fecal extract has implications for bait tray technology. Aggregation pheromone might be exploited as a bait attractant in a novel manner. Instead of the traditional mixing the attractant into the bait matrix, fecal extract could be applied to the interior surfaces of the bait station.
Technical Abstract: The influence of aggregation pheromone on German cockroach, Blattella germanica, consumption and harborage choice was evaluated in 24 h binomial arena tests. The mean number of cockroaches entering and remaining in harborages containing the fecal extract treated food (100 æl or 1000 æl dose levels) was significantly greater than 50% for both dose levels (P=0.066 and P=0.001, respectively). However, the fecal extract applied directly on the food source did not enhance consumption. At the 1000 æl dose level consumption of the control food was significantly greater than that of the extract treated food (P=0.002). These results indicate that cockroaches preferentially consumed the food in control harborages but left the food to aggregate in harborages containing fecal extract (aggregation pheromone). Binomial arena tests where fecal extract was placed adjacent to the food source (inside the harborage) resulted in significantly more cockroaches (>50%) aggregating in harborages containing the extract (P<0.0001 for 100 and 1000 æl dose levels). Food consumption in harborages containing the fecal extract was also significantly greater than in control with no fecal extract (100 æl: P=0.020; 1000 æl: P=0.008).