An unending supply of food and water, along with cozy dark areas to hide, breed, and overall, thrive. Welcome to roach heaven, in this case a university’s student dorm.

With 15 plus floors, kitchens located on every other floor and housing for more than 100 students, the university was struggling with a roach issue that had been ongoing for years, despite regular pest control service by another company. They turned to Batzner in desperation.

Batzner’s initial investigation turned up several issues. The roaches had spread to every floor in the high rise, requiring a multi-layered plan to address various harborage areas. The basis of the infestation appeared to be in the basement trash room, where trash was collected via trash chutes servicing every floor. The trash chutes themselves were also an integral part of the problem, as food stuck to the sides, fermenting and building up to provide a never ending feast as the roaches made their way from the bottom upward. This alone enabled each floor’s population to thrive.

Additionally, the previous company had been treating with only a broad-spectrum pesticide, applied without regard to the pest origin or sources of sustenance, making it impossible to do much more than eliminate a few individuals at a time.

“It was crucial to treat with not only an IGR (insect growth regulator) inside the opening to the trash chute on every floor, but also bait everywhere the roaches had been spotted, including access panels, kitchens, and the basement trash room, which was loaded with roaches and most likely the original source,” explained Batzner Operations Manager Dan Stawicki.

A thorough cleaning of each trash chute in its entirety was completed by a professional cleaning company, removing years of food buildup and eliminating a major roach food source. Stawicki noted, “It may be necessary to employ a professional company to clean areas like a multi-story trash chute because of the equipment required. It is not enough to just clean the opening and a few feet inside. However, the result is well worth the cost.”

It took several months to eliminate the roach population that had been thriving for years. Because every floor had them, and they could move from floor to floor via duct work, trash chutes, in bags and luggage, and even on people, Batzner was vigilant, with a Service Specialist initially treating every other week.

Stawicki is encouraging regarding pest issues in student housing. “Don’t assume that roaches are impossible to eliminate in areas such as trash rooms. Investing in the protocols your pest control professional prescribes, such as maintaining sanitation standards, is key to preventing a re-infestation.” In addition to continuing with the pest control program, the school continued with bi-yearly professional cleaning of the trash chutes, and consequently they have remained roach-free. “We find that clients that partner closely with us during the discovery period, implementation process and follow-up protocols see continued success with their pest control program.”

University Struggles with Cockroaches in Wisconsin

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