New Study: Cockroaches Are Becoming Immune to Insecticide

Cockroaches are evolving to become “almost impossible to control with chemicalsh,” scientists warn

Cockroaches have developed a resistance to even the most powerful chemicals humans have to throw at them, scientists are warning.

Researchers from Purdue University just tested a wide variety of insecticides on the German cockroach, which despite it’s name is a pesky cockroach found all over the world, and found that none of them can kill it.

They even tried mixing several classes of insecticides together, “but even then, we had trouble controlling populations,” entmologist Michael Scharf wrote in a press release about the study.

What’s even more troubling is how fast the resistance is developing. Cockroaches are developing immunity to new pesticides faster than scientists can concoct them. And they pass that immunity on to their offspring, which they produce 50 at a time, every 3 months.

“We would see resistance increase four- or six-fold in just one generation,” Scharf said. “We didn’t have a clue that something like that could happen this fast.”

“This is a previously unrealized challenge in cockroaches,” he added. “Cockroaches developing resistance to multiple classes of insecticides at once will make controlling these pests almost impossible with chemicals alone.”

In addition to chemicals, he recommends combining several methods, including traps, vacuums and improved sanitation.

“Cockroaches are serious threats to human health,” Sharf says.  They carry dozens of types of bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella, that can sicken people. And the saliva, feces and body parts they leave behind may not only trigger allergies and asthma but could cause the condition in some children.”

The study, just published in the journal Scientific Reports.