Cockroaches Growing Tougher To Kill, Why This Is A Problem

Well, this is fabulous news, if you’re a cockroach. A study published in Scientific Reports showed how a common species of cockroach, the German cockroach also affectionately known as Blattella germanica L., is becoming increasingly resistant to different insecticides. In other words, it’s getting harder and harder to kill them. Unless you have antennae and three pairs of legs attached or really crave companions, I guess this isn’t very encouraging news for you.

For the study, a team of Purdue University (Mahsa Fardisi, Ameya D. Gondhalekar, Aaron R. Ashbrook and Michael E. Scharf) visited a few apartments in a low-income in Danville, Illinois, and Indianapolis, Indiana, captured some specimens of B. germanica, tried to detect resistance to several insecticides, and he returned to the apartment to test three strategies of insecticide different against cockroaches:.

Rotating: using only one type of insecticide at a time and then rotating these used types over time.
Mixing: using a mixture of different types of insecticides along

The first two strategies failed like the 2011 Green Lantern film. German cockroach populations became resistant to insecticides within months. In fact, the tests revealed that cockroach populations were able to develop resistance to chemicals they had not yet been exposed to. This means that cockroach populations must be developing mechanisms or strategies that confer cross-resistance, that is, working on multiple different types of insecticides.

This is even more evidence of how adaptable cockroach populations are and how they can seemingly survive whatever is thrown at them. This is apparently the reason why cockroaches or anyone who looks like cockroaches don’t seem to worry about climate change. The Earth could become a giant flambé and they and Keith Richards can still be around.

The only strategy of the three that seemed to work was the third, first testing cockroaches for resistance to different insecticides and then using the one that cockroaches were most susceptible to. This strategy makes sense and suggests that such pest control should be more organized and strategic. Instead of launching different pesticides as if they were Kardashian posts on social media, pest management efforts may want to be more judicious, do more testing, and reserve different insecticides for when they are most appropriate.

The situation of the cockroach can be somewhat similar to the situation of bad bacteria. For years, many doctors, dentists and farmers used antibiotics indiscriminately, which helped eliminate good bacetria and allowed several populations of unpleasant bacteria to develop resistance to previously effective antibiotics. At the same time, new antibiotics have not developed fast enough, largely because investment in research has not kept pace with either the economy or need. Now our world is running out of antibiotics to use against some of the most dangerous bacteria.

As a result, there have been pressures to be more judicious about prescribing antibiotics and establishing ways to track antibiotic resistance among bacteria. There have also been lobbying efforts to get more funds for antibiotic development. Similar efforts may be needed in the battle against cockroaches.

Speaking of bad bacteria, having cockroaches around your home and office is bad not only because of the disgust factor, but also because they are potential dangers to human health. They can serve as small Ubers, carrying and spreading many pathogens that cause different diseases, such as bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli, and parasites. They also poop, drool, and leave body parts everywhere, which are general marks of bad hosts. These things can also trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks in humans.

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