A bait formulation is an active ingredient mixed with food or another attractive substance. The bait either attracts the pests or is placed where the pests will find it. Pests are killed by eating the bait that contains the pesticide. The amount of active ingredient in most bait formulations is quite low, usually less than 5 percent.

Baits are used inside buildings to control ants, roaches, flies, other insects, and rodents. Outdoors they sometimes are used to control snails, slugs, and insects such as ants and termites. Advantages of baits include:

  • Ready to use
  • Entire area need not be covered because pest goes to bait
  • Control pests that move in and out of an area

Their disadvantages:

  • Can be attractive to children and pets
  • May kill domestic animals and nontarget wildlife outdoors
  • Pest may prefer the crop or other food to the bait
  • Dead vertebrate pests may cause odor problem
  • Other animals may be poisoned as a result of feeding on the poisoned pests
  • If baits are not removed when the pesticide becomes ineffective, they may serve as a food supply for the target pest or other pests

Pastes and gels are mainly used in the pest control industry for ants and cockroaches. Insecticides formulated as pastes and gels are now the primary formulations used in cockroach control. They are designed to be injected or placed as either a bead or dot inside small cracks and crevices of building elements where insects tend to hide or travel. Two basic types of tools are used to apply pastes and gels—syringes and bait guns. The applicator forces the bait out of the tip of the device by applying pressure to a plunger or trigger.

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