Cockroach House Trap

History of the Cockroach Trap

Cockroach House Trap
A popular 1970’s cockroach trap in Japan

Have you ever wondered where the idea for catching cockroaches on glue traps came from?

In 1969, Arnold Mallis wrote in the fifth edition of ‘The Handbook of Pest Control’ that cockroaches could be successfully trapped with tin cans coated in Vaseline. Ten years later, cardboard adhesive traps aimed at the detection and control of cockroaches was an industry valued at $10M.

The proliferation of cockroaches, particularly the German cockroach, in urban housing coupled with restrictions on popular insecticides led to a sharp rise in reported problems.

In 1973 a Japanese company, Earth Chemical, developed and marketed the Gokiburi hoy-hoy, which translates roughly as: “Hey-hey, cockroaches, come over to my house”. It was a full-color cockroach trap that looked like a house. Within one month of production, 22 million units were sold.

By 1982, in the sixth edition of The Handbook of Pest Control, Mallis had expanded his thoughts on trapping cockroaches, believing they could be used for the following purposes:

  • To detect low-level populations. The existence of a potential problem can be confirmed before a population explosion takes place.
  • To locate problem areas or shelters. This can greatly enhance control efforts, allowing the operator to intensify treatments in certain areas and perhaps solve continuing problems.
  • To monitor population increases. Thus, the need for frequent and expensive applications or treatments can be avoided.
  • To reduce or control infestations. As a primary method in certain instances, but more commonly, integrated with current methods of treatment to improve efficacy.

Towards the end of the 1970’s an American Company, D-Con, managed to get Muhammad Ali to endorse their product – there is even a TV commercial!

Everything was hot new technology at some point! 

To learn more about Cockroach Control, visit our website for information about control methods and identifying types of cockroaches.

Please share any cockroach related stories below!

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Jack Myers

I joined Rentokil in June 2014 as a part of the marketing team as an intern in Reading, Pennsylvania. I am going to be a senior at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio as a marketing major. Ironically, I have a fear for pests, so I very much enjoy working for Rentokil. In my college home, I have had run-ins with raccoon's in my basement, bats in my bedroom and numerous rats scurrying about, so I have had some interesting experiences with home pest control! Follow Jack on Google+

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