Toxicity of Commercially Available Household Cleaners on Cockroaches, Blattella germanica and Periplaneta americana

R. W. Baldwin, P. G. Koehler


Experiments to determine the toxicity of commercially available dishwashing liquids (Palmolive®, Dawn® and Joy®) and household cleaners (409®, Fantastik®, Fantastik® Orange, Dawn® Power Dissolver, and Greased Lightning®) against cockroaches were conducted with two application techniques, spray and immersion. All brands and formulations of dishwashing liquids and cleaners tested were equally as toxic to adult German cockroaches, Blattella germanica (L.), achieving 92-100% mortality at 1% dishwashing liquid solution and 83-100% mortality with 100% cleaner solution via an immersion application. The Palmolive® dishwashing liquid LC50 was 0.54% against adult German cockroaches with a spray application and 0.56% with an immersion application. Contact sprays were not effective against adult American cockroaches, Periplaneta americana (L.). However, dishwashing liquid immersion applications resulted in a 0.24% LC50. Mortality of German cockroach nymphs compared to adults was tested by contact spray and immersion applications of Palmolive® dishwashing liquid. Mortality of nymphs and adults by immersion were equal with 94-100% nymphal mortality and 97-100% adult mortality at a 1.4% dishwashing liquid concentration. Upon immersion in the dishwashing liquid solution, German cockroaches arched their abdomen and air bubbles were observed escaping from the abdominal spiracles. Cockroaches were unable to remain at the surface of the solution and sank to the bottom of the container within 30 seconds of immersion.

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