Cockroaches Are Rapidly Evolving To Become "Almost Impossible" To Kill

Cockroaches Are Rapidly Evolving To Become "Almost Impossible" To Kill

The rise of the superbug cockroach is upon us. A new study has found that German cockroaches (Blattella germanica) are rapidly evolving to become resistant to many widely used bug sprays and insecticides, as well as chemicals they've never been directly exposed to, making them near-impossible to eliminate and one step closer to taking over the world. 

Remarkably, the study published in Scientific Reports revealed these scuttling pests could even develop resistance within a single generation. Others also developed cross-resistance, meaning they gained a tolerance to a usually toxic substance just through contact with a similar type of insecticide.  

“We didn’t have a clue that something like that could happen this fast," lead author Michael Scharf, of the Department of Entomology at Purdue University, said in a statement

“We would see resistance increase four- or six-fold in just one generation."

The researchers tested out different treatments of three insecticides – abamectin, boric acid, and thiamethoxam – in numerous cockroach-infested apartments across Indiana and Illinois over six months. In one treatment, three different insecticides were rotated each month for three months and then repeated. In a second, they used two insecticides from different classes for six months. In the third, they chose one insecticide to which cockroaches had low-level starting resistance.

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