Biopath and Bengal are two new cockroach bait stations that use the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae encased in a plastic disk. The two products are the same, except that Biopath is black and is for licensed pest control operators only, and Bengal is green and can be purchased by the public. A patented infection chamber attracts roaches to where they are exposed to fungal spores. The fungus is not toxic to humans or other mammals (although it may cause an allergic reaction if inhaled directly).
The station contains an agar plate that keeps humidity at the right level for fungus infection, and the water in the formulation attracts roaches (the station contains no food attractant). Infected roaches carry the fungus back to their hideouts and infect other roaches.
According to the manufacturer, these bait stations are equal to or better than standard chemical baits. German cockroaches were reduced by 50% within three weeks and by 80% after four weeks in lab tests (at close to optimal conditions). The recommended use rate is about 10 to 12 stations for every 100 square feet of space. They should be placed next to walls or in areas where cockroaches congregate, but they can't be used near radiators, baseboard heaters or other sources of heat, since high temperatures will melt the agar and kill the fungus. Bait stations sealed in packaging have a shelf life of two years or more, and once opened should remain active for at least three months.
The bait stations are available through pest control supply houses or from the manufacturer,
10 Alvin Ct.
East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Quarles, W. 1995. Least toxic baits for roaches. Common Sense Pest Control Quarterly 11(1): 5-12.
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