What is tertiary kill?

Tertiary kill (or transfer) is a type of horizontal transfer of insecticide. Horizontal transfer occurs when insecticide is passed among individuals of the same population. Research has shown a primary donor can transfer an active ingredient to primary recipients, which then become secondary donors. For example, a single adult cockroach can consume a lethal dose of ADVION Cockroach to kill many nymphs (secondary mortality). These nymphs then become donors and can kill other cockroaches (tertiary kill).

A laboratory study conducted at Purdue University found that excretions from a single ADVION Cockroach Gel fed cockroach adult killed 76 percent of nymphs within 72 hours. These dead nymphs then became an attractive food source for other adult cockroaches. The dead nymphs contained enough indoxacarb to kill 81 percent of adult cockroaches within 72 hours. Thus, the single bait-fed cockroach ended up controlling 54 members of its own family.1

What facilitates transfer among German cockroaches?

There are three main mechanisms that contribute to the effective transfer of insecticides among cockroaches:

Coprophagy is the ingestion of faeces. Cockroach nymphs readily feed on the faeces or rectal region of fellow cockroaches.
Necrophagy is the ingestion of dead cockroaches.
Emetophagy is ingestion of excretions from dying cockroaches.

All three mechanisms contribute to the transfer of indoxacarb throughout the cockroach population. Because of the slow-acting nature of indoxacarb, dying cockroaches can become walking bait stations as they return to harbourage areas and can share the product with difficult-to-reach stages, like nymphs, that often remain in the safety of cracks and crevices.

ADVION Cockroach Gel is highly attractive and palatable to multiple cockroach species, making it compatible with integrated pest management programs for both residential and commercial accounts. This makes ADVION Cockroach Gel a valuable tool to manage tough infestations and provide your customers with a cockroach-free environment.

By knowing your enemy and utilising their weaknesses, you can ensure success when implementing a program to control German cockroaches.

1 Buczkowski, G. Scherer, C. and Bennett, G. “Horizontal transfer of bait in the German cockroach: Indoxacarb causes secondary and tertiary mortality.” Journal of Entomology