The Cockroach Combat Manual II


In the early 80�s we were evaluating a new cockroach control product in a high-rise housing project. Cockroach populations were high even though the apartment we were in was squeaky clean. The three small children that shared a twin bed there looked different to me but I wasn�t sure why. Dr. Frishman pointed out that they didn�t have any eye brows or lashes and then he exposed thousands of roaches hiding behind the head board. Some things you never forget. In my view, having Paul Bello, an industry expert himself...
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In the early 80�s we were evaluating a new cockroach control product in a high-rise housing project. Cockroach populations were high even though the apartment we were in was squeaky clean. The three small children that shared a twin bed there looked different to me but I wasn�t sure why. Dr. Frishman pointed out that they didn�t have any eye brows or lashes and then he exposed thousands of roaches hiding behind the head board. Some things you never forget. In my view, having Paul Bello, an industry expert himself with years of practical experience, team up with Dr. Cockroach makes The Cockroach Combat Manual II a must read because cockroach control is deserving of our best efforts.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“In the early 80’s we were evaluating a new cockroach control product in a high-rise housing project. Cockroach populations were high even though the apartment we were in was squeaky clean. The three small children that shared a twin bed there looked different to me but I wasn’t sure why. Dr. Frishman pointed out that they didn’t have any eye brows or lashes and then he exposed thousands of roaches hiding behind the head board. Some things you never forget. In my view, having Paul Bello, an industry expert himself with years of practical experience, team up with Dr. Cockroach makes The Cockroach Combat Manual II a must read because cockroach control is deserving of our best efforts.”Gordon MorrisonBusiness ManagerVector Control and Farm Hygiene, Bayer Crop Science.“Years ago, as a young sales representative for Van Waters & Rogers, Doc Frishman taught me the value and necessity of knowing your “enemy,” the cockroach.  After these many years it remains imperative that we fully understand how to deal with the resilient cockroach.  We owe it to ourselves as industry professionals, as well to our customers, to broaden our base of knowledge.  In The Cockroach Combat Manual II, Doc Frishman and his former student Paul Bello, also a renowned industry expert, share their expertise for the benefit of readers everywhere.  It is a must have book for industry professionals.”Jim DelaneyDirector Central Region/CanadaUnivar Environmental Sciences.“Doc Frishman and Paul Bello serve as our resident authorities on cockroach management. This reference guide embodies their cockroach management mantra—-“One is too many”—-and is chock full of practical intel on the latest control trends, technologies and techniques. PMPs looking to win the war against this pervasive public health pest should read, and practice, the advice in “Cockroach Combat Manual II.”Marty WhitfordNorth Coast MediaEditorial Director & Publisher of Pest Management Professional (PMP) Magazine“Dr. Austin Frishman and Paul Bello have combined their vast knowledge and experience to author one of the most informative, practical manuals for the professional pest control industry that has ever been published. I would tag this book as a must read book for anyone dealing with cockroaches at any level in our industry.”  Tommy D. ReevesVice PresidentOldham Chemicals Company, Inc.Memphis, TN
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781491820643
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse
  • Publication date: 10/3/2013
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul J. Bello of PJB Pest Management Consulting, LLC, Alpharetta, Georgia, has been a licensed certified applicator since 1976. He was introduced to pest management by Dr. Frishman and began his pest management career as a service technician working at Suburban Exterminating in Smithtown, New York, while a student of Dr. Frishman’s in the Pest Control Technology Program at SUNY Farmingdale. He later enrolled at the University of Georgia, where he earned his BSA in entomology. He also holds an MBA in accounting from Adelphi University. Paul has worked as a technical director for large and international pest management firms and owned and operated his own pest management company located on Long Island, New York, for ten years. His extensive pest control experience led to career opportunities with global manufacturers, where he served as a technical representative, sales representative, and national account manager.

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By Austin M. Frishman, Paul J. Bello


Copyright © 2013 Dr. Austin M. Frishman & Paul J. Bello
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4918-2064-3


The Evolution and History of Cockroaches

Three hundred and fifty million years ago, cockroaches thrived. This age was called the Carboniferous Period. Scientists refer to it as the age of the cockroaches because at that time, these insects had reached their peak in number of species as well as the abundance of each species. The presence of a warm, moist environment allowed these cockroaches to dominate the world at that time, yet today none of these species exist. However, the current-day species that evolved from this extinct group are called Paleoblattidae.

"Blattidae" is the Latin term used to describe present-day cockroaches, and the word "paleo" refers to the term "ancient." The Carboniferous period came toward the end of the Paleozoic Era, which began about five hundred million years ago and ended two hundred million years ago. Dinosaurs had not yet begun to roam the earth. As early Homo sapiens evolved from between four hundred thousand and two hundred fifty thousand years ago, cockroaches predate man's arrival by more than three hundred million years.

Some experts recognize twelve families of fossil cockroaches. The largest family is called the Archimylacris and is comprised of as many as 350 species. Surprisingly, fossil remains indicate that there have been very few structural changes in cockroaches. The shape of the cockroach bodies and their fondness for living in moist places has changed little over these many years. Domestic cockroaches that exist today have evolved to the point where they can withstand drier conditions. Their wings have become reduced in size, and their eggs are now deposited in a protective capsule to reduce dehydration. Primitive cockroaches would have deposited their eggs singly in a moist environment.

The sword-shaped ovipositor evolved over a period of time to be retracted into the abdomen of the male cockroach and into the formation of a genital pouch in the female. In the primitive period, the function of the ovipositor was to inject eggs into the soil or other suitable media. Today the ovipositor is used to guide eggs into the ootheca, an egg capsule that houses the individual eggs and is produced by the adult female. Of the domestic cockroaches, with the exception of the German cockroach, the egg capsule is dropped or affixed to various surfaces by the adult female. This waterproof structure protects the eggs during development of the nymph within and further allows these creatures to encroach upon man.

There are two main locations in North America where scientists collect fossil cockroaches: the middle or lower measures of Illinois, and the upper coal measures in Kansas.

Having inhabited the Earth for hundreds of millions of years before humans were present, it behooves us to start when "we humans" entered the historical picture. About seventy thousand years ago modern humans were dwelling in the Middle East and Northern Africa whilst Neanderthals were running around Europe and Western Asia. It took about fifteen to twenty thousand years for our ancestors to become the dominant species—a mere speck compared to the ubiquitous cockroach, which had already been here for about three hundred and fifty million years prior to early man.

Probably from day one cockroaches were uninvited guests and have managed to remain uninvited guests throughout time. Household cockroaches are as ancient as the concept of food within the home. Those of us who have these pests within our home are simply following a time-honored tradition and precedent. So if you have them, don't be too upset.

It is believed that the four major household species all came to North America from Africa. Some made the roundabout trip through the Middle East to Europe in trade caravans, or across the Mediterranean in Greek and Phoenician ships, arriving centuries later in North America. Others traveled directly across the Atlantic in early explorer and slave ships. This latter group included the so-called American cockroach (Periplaneta americana).

References to the cockroach prevail through history. Pedanius Dioscorides, a Greek who was an army physician for the Emperor Nero stated in the first century that cockroach entrails, when mixed with oil and stuffed into the ear, would cure earaches. This information was included in his treatise on medicine called the De Materia Medica. For sixteen centuries, De Materia Medica was considered the highest authority on medicine and was universally studied by medical students and botanists.

The cockroach is also mentioned in another first-century manuscript, a scientific encyclopedia called Natural History. Written by Pliny the Elder, it contained almost the same recipe for earaches as that of Dioscorides's but slightly improved: the oil that was mixed with the cockroaches had to be rose oil. To Pliny, a naturalist, cockroaches were a cure-all. When crushed, he observed, they would cure itching, tumors, and scabs; when ingested with their wings and feet cut off, they relieved swollen glands.

As noted earlier, cockroaches were amongst the original travelers on sailing ships. Cockroaches at sea are described in the Danish navy annals of 1611 AD. From time to time, apparently, cockroach hunts were held. The price for a thousand cockroaches was a bottle of brandy from the cook's locked pantry. Cockroach time was party time in those days. The navy annals record a single catch of this sort bringing in 32,500 cockroaches.

The Spanish Armada had the same problems. Sir Francis Drake reported that upon capturing the San Felipe, his boarding party found the bombarded decks overrun with cockroaches. Cockroaches aboard ships have always manifested themselves in unpleasant ways. For instance, R. H. Lewis wrote that "on a voyage from England to Tasmania, hundreds of cockroaches were flying around my cabin. They were in immense confusion and had a communication with every part of the ship, between the timbers or the skin. The ravages they committed on every edible item were very extensive. Not a biscuit but was more or less polluted by them, and amongst the cargo of three hundred cases of cheese, which had holes in them to prevent their sweating, were considerably damaged, some of them being half-devoured and not one without some marks of their residence."

British entomologist A. Nichols, among others, reported sailors frequently complained of having their toenails, fingernails, and calloused parts of their hands and feet nibbled on by cockroaches. Also reported was the consumption of eyelashes and hair from sleeping crews and passengers, especially children.

Caudell, another entomologist on an explorer's expedition to British Columbia, reported: "On this trip I had them served to me in three different styles. Alive in strawberries, a la carte with fried fish—and baked in a biscuit."

As late as the sixteenth century, physicians were still prescribing cockroach entrails as an excellent remedy for sore ears. A Viennese physician by the name of Tatthiold updated Dioscorides's recipe of sixteen hundred years earlier; the cockroach entrails had to be cooked in oil instead of just mixed. In 1725, Jamaican children were still being fed cockroaches as a worm cure. The fact is, reports of cockroaches being used medicinally and nutritionally persist around the world even today.

In the summer of 1979, more than a million German cockroaches were found thriving in a two-family house in Schenectady, New York. T-shirts were quickly distributed with the words "Schenectady—Cockroach Capital of the World."

The cockroach has frequently been a social issue. In Northern Germany it is referred to as "Schwwabe," a term for inhabitants of Southern Germany. In the south the cockroach is popularly known as "Preusze," after the northern Germans. This species of cockroach is known in the United States even today among pest management professionals as the German cockroach. The names "Yankee Settler," "Croton Bug," and "Bombay Canary," to name a few, have also been used at one time or another for this cockroach.

Cockroach history would not be complete without mentioning its debut in the legal profession. Fifty years ago a renowned Danish baker was faced with a trial when a customer found a cockroach in a piece of pastry. The baker, visualizing the end of his career, asked the court to see the piece of evidence. It was handed to him and he exclaimed, "Cockroach? That is not a cockroach, that is a raisin ..." and he then swallowed it. He was acquitted.

What is it about the cockroach that makes it objectionable to human beings? Is it simply an aesthetic inconvenience? We know that eradication attempts have been made throughout the ages. For instance, Captain William Bligh, in his 1792 chronicling of the voyages of the HMS Bounty, described his attempts to rid the ship of cockroaches using boiling water.

W. S. Blatchley described the following common methods used in Mexico: "To get rid of cockroaches—catch three and put them in a bottle, and so carry them to where two roads cross. Here hold the bottle upside down, and as they fall out repeat aloud three credos. Than all the cockroaches in the house from which these three came will go away."

As late as 1905 the Japanese navy was still using the seventeenth-century Danish method of eradication. They called it "Shore Leave for Cockroaches." A Japanese seaman would only have to capture three hundred cockroaches to be granted a day's shore leave. With characteristic succinctness and aplomb, the Japanese described the purpose as follows: "To promote extermination of cockroaches in a warship because, on the one hand, any warship suffers from numerous cockroaches, and on the other hand, any seaman likes shore leave."

Cockroaches are objectionable for more than aesthetic reasons. Aside from their being unwelcome visitors of minute size, great numbers, unpredictable direction, and speed of flight, cockroaches happen to be contaminators of food supplies. If you have never smelled their odor, you are lucky. Called "attar of roaches," it is the combined product of their excrement, of fluid exuded from their abdominal scent glands, and of a dark-colored fluid regurgitated from their mouths while feeding. This attar fouls food.

The dominant cockroach today is the German cockroach, or Blatella Germanica (Linnaeus). Originally this cockroach evolved in North Africa. It is believed to have migrated to eastern Europe in Greek and Phoenician ships, whereby it then spread to Asia Minor, the Black Sea region, and southern Russia. According to P. B. Cornwell, a British entomologist and director of research for Rentokil Laboratories Ltd., East Gunstead, Sussex, England, this species then spread northward and westward across Europe. Once entrenched in western Europe, it was then just a matter of time before the German cockroach successfully invaded ships. Today these world travelers go first class via planes, ships, trains, and buses. The three main factors that contribute to the dominance of the German cockroach are its small size, short life cycle, and prolific breeding capabilities.

Over the centuries, individual roaches within a given species mutate. Environmental conditions determine which mutants are selected to survive. Cockroaches have exhibited an extraordinary record of successes, including the ability to develop resistance to pesticides, withstand high dosages of radiation, and survive on a minimal food intake.

New Invading Species

Cockroaches are true survivors and successful invaders due to their ability to turn up nearly anywhere via introduction due to various forms of commerce and transport. As an example, years ago tropical species such as the Surniam cockroach became problematic within structures such as shopping malls in the northeast, where decorative potted tropical plants were placed. Thriving quite nicely within the soil of these potted plants, interior plant-scape suppliers unknowingly delivered this roach problem to their customers.

Even as this book goes to print, the probability of a new invasive cockroach species is very much a reality. In 2013, technicians working at Bell Environmental Services collected a new species of cockroach in New York City. Using DNA analysis and morphological features, this species was confirmed. The species Periplaneta japonica was identified and confirmed at the Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, Department of Entomology. These cockroaches were found at the exterior of a building beneath various plantings and were able to survive outdoors over the cold New York winter. They were not buried in the soil but were found around stones and planting materials.


Cockroach Biology, Development, and Behavior

Fossilized cockroaches show no great differences from present-day species, and today's cockroaches doubtlessly live much the same way as their ancestors more than a billion generations ago. The fact that they still exist after such a long time, let alone that they are basically unchanged, is a magnificent tribute to the success of their design and structure. The cockroach is a grandly simple creature. They are living fossils, unencumbered by sophisticated evolutionary amenities such as lungs, reliance on vision, and discriminatory taste.

The basic domestic cockroach ranges in color from yellowish tan to brownish black and in size from one-half inch to one-and-one-half inches. It is not slimy but is covered with a hard, waxy coating. Like all insects, it has a three-part body: head, thorax, and abdomen. However, you never see the three parts, not even the head, unless the cockroach is dead and happens to be lying on its back. This is because its wings cover the entire back, and its head is bowed downward under a protective crown, the pronotum, with the mouth projecting backward between its front legs. Therefore, you mainly see the back, legs, and antennae sticking out, and maybe the cerci on the rear end. Pointy spines project from the legs of the cockroach. The legs and wings, if present, rise from the thorax.

The cockroach does most of its sensing by picking up vibrations in the air, essentially hearing or feeling movements of its antennae on one end and the cerci on the other. The antennae can also smell things. The cerci serve a sensory function. These two hair- covered appendages project from the posterior end of the cockroach. Sensory nerves of the cerci are directly connected to six long, slender, and powerful legs, bypassing the brain. When the cockroach "feels" a threat presence anywhere in the room (when you speak a word, take a breath, or take a step) it doesn't even think about it, its legs start moving first (see photo 2.2).

Evolution has favored the shortening of the evasive behavior responses of the cockroach to the point where its reaction time is limited only by the speed of the neural impulses down the nerves from the cerci to the legs (this reaction time has been measured by researchers). If you ever observe a cockroach standing still with its cerci sticking up in the air, you'll know it's checking things out. There is no way you can get near a cockroach unless it starts running and can't find a place to hide. This is a rarity for a cockroach because its body is built of flattened plates with the legs sticking out horizontally. Constructed this way allows the roach to slip into surprisingly small and tiny cracks that you couldn't get a match into. It will also use its wings if properly disturbed.

A cockroach needs very little to survive. A little warmth, a little shelter, a little moisture, and a small amount of food are all that is required for a cockroach to survive. Although it prefers starchy foods such as bread, potatoes, apples, and beer, it will eat anything. The cockroach is not capable of biting; rather, it scrapes and chews or munches. It will as soon snack on paper and soiled clothing as on scattered crumbs. It seeks high humidity and warm temperatures. It tries to avoid light and prefers to hide in cracks and crevices. A cockroach is extraordinarily hardy. It will survive the loss of legs and antennae. It will withstand temperatures from 10 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit for short periods, in addition to depressurization.

A cockroach can go for long periods of time without food or water. While it lives and breeds in close proximity to its food supply, it will wander, forage, and even migrate if need be in search of food. But in reality, it doesn't take much to keep a cockroach fat and happy.

Cockroaches come in four basic "flavors": male, female, nymph, and egg. The male is thin and slender with a tapered rear end, whereas the female is stout and robust with bulbous hindquarters. The nymph is simply the stage between hatching and maturity. Cockroaches develop by gradual metamorphosis, and nymphal cockroaches resemble the adults.


Excerpted from THE COCKROACH COMBAT MANUAL II by Austin M. Frishman, Paul J. Bello. Copyright © 2013 Dr. Austin M. Frishman & Paul J. Bello. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Why This Book?, 1,

Foreword, 3,

Chapter 1 The Evolution and History of Cockroaches, 4,

Chapter 2 Cockroach Biology, Development, and Behavior, 9,

Chapter 3 Cockroach Identification, Inspection, and Detection, 18,

Chapter 4 Diseases and Damage Associated with Cockroaches, 25,

Chapter 5 Cockroach Inspection and Detection, 30,

Chapter 6 Cockroach Trivia and Records, Unusual Circumstances, and Worst-Case Scenarios, 39,

Chapter 7 Non-Chemical Cockroach Control Methodologies and IPM, 52,

Chapter 8 Insecticides, Resistance, and Cockroach Baits, 60,

Chapter 9 Killing Cockroaches with Insecticides, 77,

Chapter 10 Application Equipment Use and Care, 85,

Chapter 11 Special Situations, 91,

Chapter 12 Solving Cockroach Problems, 102,

Chapter 13 Frequently-Asked Questions, 108,

Appendix I: "Classic Frishman", 119,

"The Top 100 Best Cockroach Control Tips", 120,

"Typical Pests Found in and around Health-Care Facilities", 124,

"25 Key Points When Writing Pest Control Contracts for Health-Care Facilities", 125,

"Domestic Cockroaches and Human Bacterial Diseases.", 128,

"Twelve Ways to Read a Sticky Trap.", 129,

"Are Baits the Silver Bullet of Cockroach Control?", 130,

"Are You Using Sticky Traps the Right Way?", 131,

"The American Roach—High-Rise Headache.", 132,

"How to Improve Cockroach Bait Application.", 133,

"Questions to Ask before Treating an Office Building.", 134,

"Death, Taxes, and Cockroach Infestations.", 135,

"Control from the Cockroach's Perspective.", 136,

Appendix II: Cockroach Bait Aversion Q&A, 137,

Appendix III: Sponsors, 141,

Appendix IV: Acknowledgments, References, and Resources, 163,

Appendix V: About the Authors, 167,

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