Observations of cockroaches and bed bugs cohabiting

photomodified glue boards trapping both roaches and bed bugs in a bedroom




Prior to 2013 the exterminator community in Winnipeg addressed very few cases of cockroaches. Since then the German Cockroach seems to be making a big comeback. And with this resurgence we are now finding homes that contain simultaneous infestations of bed bugs and cockroaches.

As noted in one of my earlier blogs it appears that cockroaches are widely dispersed over the entire home when the tenant self treats with aerosol pyrethrins (RAID, KONK, etc). Last week I treated a case of cockroaches that again appeared to be widely dispersed. During treatment I noted that the customary hot spots of kitchen cupboards, refrigerator, and stove had very few cockroaches while light fixtures, a closet, and surface mount electrical lines on the ceiling had large numbers of roaches – interesting.

After the roach treatment was complete we began a bed bug inspection. I inspected a couch and immediately found what appeared to be a bed bugs in a dark hidden area. I did not look very closely and I assumed they were bed bugs because they were in a normal bed bug hiding spot. But something did not look right so I prodded a few bugs to get them moving and discovered they were actually cockroaches!! That marks the first time I had ever found cockroaches in a couch!! I continued inspecting the couch and found another group of bugs but this time it was bed bugs. Bed bugs and cockroaches on the same couch in similar hiding spots. Wow.

I returned to do a bed bug treatment a week later and noted that all the areas I had treated for roaches a week earlier contained zero roaches. Good! But as I went through the suite treating bed bugs I continued finding live and healthy roaches in dresser drawers, night stands, mirrors, a bed with a slat bottom, and even a box spring! I had treated all the baseboards in the bedrooms with Maxforce 24240 every 3 feet or so a week earlier but the roaches in the furniture had not taken the bait. I assume I had not applied the baits close enough to their lairs. I guess I should have treated the box springs!!?!

I also noted that there were very few bed bugs in the beds but they were being found in odd locations such as the livingroom curtains far away from any sleeping host. This observation led me to believe the tenant had self treated with RAID as I have noted this scattering pattern many times with bed bugs. It also appears that cockroaches are scattered similarly with RAID and the roaches and bed bugs are forced to trade houses like the city mouse and country mouse story.

To further the complications the maxforce gel will become a repellent to the roaches if they are contaminated with pyrethroids. And if the roaches and bed bugs are sharing harbourages it will be difficult to treat the roaches. Interesting case.

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