Horizontal transfer of bait in the German cockroach: indoxacarb causes secondary and tertiary mortality

J Econ Entomol. 2008 Jun;101(3):894-901. doi: 10.1603/0022-0493(2008)101[894:htobit]2.0.co;2.


Horizontal transfer of indoxacarb in the German cockroach, Blattella germanica (L.), was examined under laboratory conditions. Results show that a single bait-fed adult cockroach (i.e., the donor) transferred indoxacarb to numerous primary recipients (secondary mortality),which then became secondary donors. These recipients subsequently became donors to other cockroaches and caused significant mortality in other members of the aggregation, resulting in tertiary kill. Indoxacarb was effectively transferred among adult cockroaches and resulted in significant secondary mortality. When adult males served as donors and vectored the insecticide to adult males, the donor:recipient ratio affected the mortality of the recipients and the rate of secondary mortality increased with increasing the ratio of donors to recipients. Furthermore, secondary mortality in the untreated cockroaches was significantly affected by the freshness of excretions from the donors, the presence of alternative food, and the duration of contact between the donors and the recipients. Ingested indoxacarb was most effectively translocated when the recipients interacted with freshly symptomatic donors in the absence of alternative food. The transfer of indoxacarb continued beyond secondary mortality and resulted in significant tertiary mortality. Excretions from a single bait-fed adult killed 38/50 (76%) nymphs within 72 h. The dead nymphs then vectored indoxacarb to 20 adult males and killed 16/20 (81%) recipients within 72 h. Behavioral mechanisms involved in the horizontal transfer of indoxacarb may include: contact with excretions, necrophagy, emetophagy, and ingestion of other excretions that originate from the donors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Cockroaches / drug effects
  • Cockroaches / growth & development
  • Cockroaches / physiology*
  • Death
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Insecticides / metabolism
  • Insecticides / toxicity*
  • Oxazines / metabolism
  • Oxazines / toxicity*


  • Insecticides
  • Oxazines
  • indoxacarb