The effects of contamination of insecticidal bait formulations, by using mint oil and silica aerogel, were evaluated in a series of laboratory experiments against the German cockroach, Blattella germanica (L.). Bait consumption at 3 d for uncontaminated baits ranged from 0.01 g for Avert dust to 0.399 g for Combat dry bait with hydramethylnon presented in a station. LT50 values for uncontaminated gel bait deposits ranged from 0.4 d for PreEmpt containing imidacloprid to 4.1 d for Maxforce containing hydramethylnon. As a group, significantly more gel bait was consumed than solid formulations even when both formulations had similar concentrations of the same active ingredient. As a result, gel baits were significantly more toxic than solid formulations. Application of mint oil directly to bait deposits significantly decreased bait consumption and increased overall LT50 values. When bait formulation types were examined individually, there was no difference in consumption or toxicity between contaminated and uncontaminated gel formulations. Contaminated solid baits, however, had significantly greater LT50 values and less consumption than uncontaminated solid baits. Gel formulations probably absorbed the contaminants and removed them from the surface of the bait deposits resulting in normal bait consumption and toxicity. Gel and solid bait deposits, inside plastic exposure stations or alone with no station and placed onto mint oil-contaminated substrates, had significantly lower bait consumption and greater LT50 values than baits placed on uncontaminated substrates. Contamination of a baited area is more likely than contamination of just the bait deposit and therefore a more realistic test of the effects of contamination on bait performance. The importance of contamination to the performance of cockroach baits is discussed.
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Vol. 97 • No. 6