Cockroaches are small insects that love to hide in the dark corners of your kitchen.  These pests are unsanitary, unhealthy and unpleasant.  Their presence is statistically connected to many diseases.  As more and more homeowners are dealing with this problem, insecticide companies are responding with new pesticide technologies.  One of these pesticide forms, cockroach bait, has been around for a long time.  You may be wondering how roach bait works?  Bait is an insecticide mixed with a food substance that attracts roaches to eat it.  Some kill instantly, some wait to be taken back to harborage places to be fed to other roaches, killing many of them.  

Many insecticide companies have been marketing their products to home owners.  I have found that the best solution to this problem is to call an exterminator.  Your pest control technician can identify the species of cockroach that you have.  This information is valuable because it tells him what behaviors are specific to that species, and where the best places to put bait are.  Baits can also be hazardous to pets and small children if consumed.  If you think that anyone in your home has consumed roach bait, seek medical attention immediately.  


Abamectin is a pesticide found in many roach baits such as Enforcer RoachMax Bait Stations, Raid Double Control Roach Baits and Vendetta Cockroach Gel Bait.  In its pure form, it is a highly toxic material.  However, when it is formulated for roach bait, it has a much lower toxicity to mammals.  Birds are not very susceptible either, but it can be very dangerous around fish.  So be extremely careful around your fish tank.  

Abamectin works on insects by interfering with neural and neuromuscular transmission.  In mammals, the synapsis that is effected is protected by the blood brain barrier.  But in a high enough dosage, this barrier can be breached and do massive harm to humans.  This insecticide does not absorb rapidly through the skin, however gloves are still recommended, so as not to ingest the pesticide or get in your eyes by mistake.  Washing your hands after you touch any pesticide is always required.  


Many websites attempt to describe Borax as a great way to eliminate pests.  There are many problems with Borax as described in a previous post located here.  But some roach baits, such as MotherEarth Granular Scatter Bait, Niban Granular Bait, Pic Boric Acid Roach Killer Gel and Terro Multi-Purpose Insect Bait use boric acid as their active ingredient. When boric acid is ingested by an insect, it attacks the stomach and neural network, killing the insect.  If insects crawl over this pesticide, it can also damage the exoskeleton, which will kill the bug by drying it out.  

Ingesting this insecticide is very poisonous to humans, so gloves must be worn at all times.  It doesn’t absorb through the skin very quickly, but can be very damaging to the eyes.  Children are especially susceptible to this pesticide.  As stated above, Borax is not meant to be a pesticide, and used improperly, can be very dangerous.  And always use pesticides in accordance with their labels.  Also, knowing how roach bait works helps!


A more recently invented pesticide, fipronil is now extensively used in to control a wide variety of pests.  Combat Roach Killing Bait Strips, Combat Max Roach Killing Gel and Maxforce FC Roach Killer Bait Stations are all examples of roach baits that use fipronil as its active ingredient.  This insecticide attacks central nervous system of insects.  It is more toxic to insects than humans or other mammals because it attaches more readily to nerve endings in insects.  

There are no studies at the time of the writing this article that connect fipronil to cancer or reproductive issues.  It has been proven to effect thyroid production and metabolism.  It also breaks down to metabolites and is stored in fatty tissue.   As with any pesticide, its important to follow the label for all applications.  If you believe that anyone has been exposed to this pesticide, seek medical attention immediately.  


This pesticide was first approved for market in 1980.  Hydramethylnon is a slow acting pesticide that must be eaten to be effective.  The slow acting factor with this pesticide gives it the ability to be eaten by an insect, and also brought back to colonies and harborage to feed to young and other insects.  Many cockroach baits including Amdro Kills Ants & Roaches Bait, Combat Roach Kill Gel, Combat Source Kill, Maxforce Granular Insect Bait and Ortho Home Defense Roach Bait use this pesticide.  

Hydramethylnon works by inhibiting the energy production on a cellular level in insects.  It’s because of this that it must be ingested to be effective.  Scientists haven’t found a large number of negative side effects with the exception of a connection with cancer.  Hydramethylnon is highly toxic to fish, but is unlikely to be ingested by sea life because it doesn’t dissolve in water.  

Cockroach issues can be hard to tackle, but knowing how roach bait works can help.  If you are in need of an exterminator, Contact Us at TermMax Pest Control for a free estimate!

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