Many Cockroaches No Longer Have a Sweet ToothJanay Rickwalder
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
A recent study on cockroach behavior, published
in the journal Science, revealed that some German cockroaches
possess a mutation causing them to have an aversion to sugar.
These findings explain why sugar-based baits mysteriously
stopped working as a means of pest control.
Dr. Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist and director of
technical services for the National Pest Management Association
(NPMA), told the
New York Times that this problem “first appeared in the early
’90s… shortly after exterminators started using poison baits
instead of spraying as the main method of battling roaches.” To get
around the problem, Fredericks said the industry developed new
baits, but the change in roach behavior remained a puzzle.
Now, scientists and pest professional know why these baits were
ineffective. It turns out cockroaches with this genetic mutation
sense sweet bait as bitter, which enables them to not only avoid
the poison, but also survive and multiply.