Study Shows That Cockroaches Have Evolved to be Immune to Insecticides

Pokemon taught us one thing:

Creatures adapt and grow. They evolve, in a bid to deal with stronger threats and all.

Image: Giphy

But here’s the thing. If you’ve always thought evolution to be a game-exclusive function, you’re wrong. Humans have evolved…

And it seems that our greatest enemies, the cockroaches…

Have evolved too.


But before you freak out and start forcing bulldogs into little red balls in a bid to combat these Team Rocket-worth creatures, chill. Just a bit.

It’s not that bad.

New Study Shows That Cockroaches Have Evolved to be Immune to Insecticides

According to CNN, scientists from Purdue exposed German cockroaches to different insecticides and found that the cockroach populations not only developed resistance to the insecticide that was used against them…

But also resistance to other insecticides.

Thereafter, the buffed up creatures can then bequeath their resistance on to their offspring, making it only a matter of time before an entire population becomes insecticide-proof.

Bad news for those armed with insecticide sprays and a lofty shield, lest you’re wondering.

“This is a previously unrealized challenge in cockroaches,” says Michael Scharf of Purdue University, who led the study. “Cockroaches developing resistance to multiple classes of insecticides at once will make controlling these pests almost impossible with chemicals alone.”

The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports, and will become the ur-text of the coming Global Cockroach Age.

A problem. A huge problem.

Lest you haven’t gotten it by now, multi-immunity insects are a problem.

A huge problem.

See, exterminators typically utilise a cocktail of different insecticides, which are split into classes based on toxicity, chemical composition and other factors. That way, even if an insect is immune to one kind, another kind can knock them out.

But multi-immunity insects? Shit.

In this particular study, it was revealed that while scientists were able to keep cockroach populations level through rotating insecticides, they weren’t actually able to reduce the numbers.

In fact, Scharf expressed that sometimes, resistance within a single generation of the cockroaches could increase as much as four- or six-fold. Add in the notion that a female cockroach can produce 200 to 300 offspring in her short lifetime and the fact that there are low-income areas and places where effective pest control isn’t available…

Actually, let’s not think about that.

So how do we fight?

Before you grab that fire extinguisher, nickname it and shout commands at it to attack, relax, there are still ways to fight those damn roaches outside of Pokemon.

According to Scharf, the way to combat evolving cockroaches is to diversify pest treatment methods. If they insist on resisting? We insist on diversifying. This could include physical methods like traps and vacuums, as well as preventative measures like sanitation. Simply put, it’s a fight to the death.


A fight to determine the victor once and for all.

After all, cockroaches were on this Earth millions of years before us.

They must be pretty darn strong to have lasted this long.

This Singapore love story set in the 90s shows you why you should never wait for tomorrow. Watch it without crying:

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