Pest Control Practices for the German Cockroach (Blattodea: Blattellidae): A Survey of Rural Residents in North Carolina

Beatrice Dingha, Louis Jackai, Rachel H. Monteverdi, Jimo Ibrahim

Abstract


The German cockroach, Blattella germanica (L.) (Blattodea: Blattellidae), is a serious pest in rural and urban housing. The aim of this study was to ascertain the pest control practice used by home residents to control the German cockroach and to assess the level of residents’ awareness and knowledge of integrated pest management. A face-to-face survey of 100 participants was carried out in 3 rural counties in NC. Only individuals who acknowledged that the German cockroach was a pest in their homes were selected for the survey. Of these participants only 23% indicated that the German cockroach was a major indoor pest, while 48% indicated that mosquitoes and 50% indicated that ants were major pests in their homes. The majority (71%) of survey respondents reported that to cope with domestic pest problems, they or a member of their household applied pesticides, and 16% worked with a contractor to do so. Pesticides were the main control measure used in homes and most (65%) respondents indicated these were applied routinely irrespective of need. The majority (93%) of residents surveyed were unfamiliar with the strategy of integrated pest management (IPM) and associated measures of control and prevention. Based on our findings, we believe that organizing an educational IPM program would increase awareness among residents of the economic, human health and environmental costs and benefits of each control measure and make sustainable IPM implementation more likely to succeed.

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