Lures that are used to attract German cockroaches, Blattella germanica (L.), to traps were compared in olfactometer assays in the laboratory and in trapping experiments in cockroach-infested homes and a swine farm. In olfactometer assays, AgriSense GP-2 was the most attractive lure, followed by peanut butter, and distiller’s grain. Other lures, including Trapper tablet; Victor pheromone, a crude fecal extract that ostensibly contains B. germanica aggregation pheromone; and Victor food lure elicited upwind orientation from <50% of the test insects. Peanut butter and distiller’s grain were equally attractive in trapping experiments in swine production barns and they captured significantly more cockroaches than the GP-2 tablet or the Victor pheromone lure; the commercial lures failed to attract significantly more cockroaches than the unbaited control traps. When tested against blank controls, cockroaches preferred to rest in shelters that contained the aggregation pheromone-based lure (Victor), but this lure was the least attractive to cockroaches in olfactometer assays. These results do not support claims that commercial crude fecal extracts attract cockroaches to traps, and they highlight a need for developing more attractive lures for detection of cockroaches and for monitoring populations.
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Vol. 94 • No. 1