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Great analogy Allie!

This takes me back more than 20 years when we started to monitor for roaches in Metro Toronto Housing Authority. Our mandate was to reduce use of pesticides AND eliminate roaches. We actually only used three monitors per unit, and put one each behind or beside stove and fridge, and a third under the kitchen sink. We had started with one in bathroom as well, but quickly found that if they were in the bathroom which was fairly uncommon, they were ALWAYS in kitchen, so the bathroom one was deleted as it did not contribute much to the assessment. We didn't put into the living room or bedrooms as we rarely found them there... again, if there was one in bedroom, almost invariably they were in kitchen, and if the kitchen was severely infested, they could be anywhere!!!!

We did pre- and post- treatment monitoring. It helped reduce the number of units that needed to be treated as this identified all units that were likely free of infestation. We still put in some maxforce stations as precaution even in those units.

When we did comparisons in graphic charts of extent of infestations before and after treatment largely using non-spray tactics, it was like looking at Manhattan sky scrapers (more infestation was a higher bar) compared to a prairie field flat and narry a bar to be seen, and those were very low.

We used post treatment monitoring as the basis for follow-up. This is, unfortunately, very time consuming, and many organizations cannot spare the staff or the time to do this extensive monitoring. It does take hours to put in the traps, take them out and count the roaches. My staff used to give me looks when I set the standard of counting nymphs and adults, though we designed a trap with a grid system, and for high numbers, the counts were largely greater than figures rather than actual estimates.
Our thresholds for types of treatment were:
1. none seen
2. 1 - 4 seen,
3. 5 - 9,
4. 10 or more.

After we stopped using sprays, this was less critical, and due to limited resources, we relied more on contractor evauations, and tenant survey responses. if there is not a major extent of infestation in a site, then site staff doing annual inspections can be a pretty good evaluative process if they are trained to look in the right areas for roaches, mice, and bed bugs. Monitoring is better of course, but when this is not likely due to resource issues, then tracking service requests, and the survey process as well as training site staff to check are all great alternatives. If you have the resources, then of course, this is asbsolutely super!!!

Your comments and figures help a lot.. This is truly classical urban IPM. I wish more people practiced this...the surveys to tenants we found to be outstanding......if people are encouraged to respond and ask for help.


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