Cockroaches may evolve into being almost impossible to kill, according to scientists.
A recent study published in Scientific Reports discovered that German cockroaches (Blattella germanica) are becoming resistant to many bug sprays and insecticides. What is more, the species may also be immune to chemicals they have never been directly exposed to. This shocking revelation implies that cockroaches are basically impossible to kill.
According to the research, these obnoxious insects could even develop resistance within a single generation, IFL Science reports. The worst thing is that they have developed cross-resistance, which means that they are now tolerant of some toxic substances. Michael Scharf, member of the Department of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the study, explained:
“We didn’t have a clue that something like that could happen this fast. We would see resistance increase four- or six-fold in just one generation.”
After various toxic treatments, the researchers examined the species’ reactions in numerous cockroach-infested homes across Indiana and Illinois.
However, no matter what chemical cocktail they used, they could not affect the size of the cockroach population. What’s even more bothersome is that in some cases, populations actually skyrocketed as the nasty little creatures started to gain resistance.
During detailed lab tests, the examiners found out that many of the cockroaches had become “essentially immune” to a particular class of pesticide.
Cockroaches are probably the most common pests in many homes. They are amongst the most despised insects, and there is a good reason for that. According to WHO, cockroaches are proven or suspected carriers of the organisms causing diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, leprosy, plague, typhoid fever, and other viral diseases.
“This is a previously unrealized challenge in cockroaches. Cockroaches developing resistance to multiple classes of insecticides at once will make controlling these pests almost impossible with chemicals alone.”
Thankfully, cockroaches are still not immune to the good old newspaper strike. However, this study reveals that people must be more cautious when it comes to pest control. Simply relying on insecticides turns out to be far from enough to battle these near-invisible creatures.