Did you know that cockroaches existed even before we did? Yes, they existed around 300 million years ago and they even had an age named to them! Until now, they’re a big problem to most households because they’re unclean and they roam anywhere.
Cockroaches have been a part of the daily lives of people—in fact, not in a day where you won’t encounter a cockroach just roaming around wherever you are. Naturally, we can keep a cockroach away or any type of pest by spraying an insecticide to them.
Here in the Philippines, a simple way to keep this pest out of your sight is by swatting them—now we might have to do that often because it was reported that cockroaches were able to develop an immunity to pesticides. Yes, you read it the way you should—cockroaches are now resisting insecticides you might need to do a bit more effort.
Michael Scharf, Chair of the Entomology Department at Purdue University said that they did not expect that this type of immunity can happen so fast.
We didn’t have a clue that something like that could happen this fast. Cockroaches developing resistance to multiple classes of insecticides at once will make controlling these pests almost impossible with chemicals alone.”
An experiment to cockroaches developing this immunity to pesticides
An experiment done as this matter took cockroaches and saw that ten (10) percent of these cockroaches displaying resistance to a particular pesticide. They saw that the populations grew in the six-month time frame when the researchers sprayed, had a disconcerting conclusion.
What’s both amazing and scary is that the multi-chemical experimental groups saw that the cockroaches that survived the spray of one insecticide developed immunity not just with what was sprayed to them, but with other chemicals they were not exposed yet, too!
It’s some kind of their super trait that allows them to resist a chemical that they haven’t even encountered yet. So, the best way to approach this is to show them differences, right?
So, it’s safe to conclude that in just a single generation, their resistance increased, causing them in developing their immunity to four (4) to six (6) fold in just a single generation, according to Scharf.
As per Scharf, the resistance within a single generation can be combined with the fact that one (1) single female cockroach can produce 200 to 300 offspring in her lifetime, can be something scary in terms of them dominating the whole world with their kind.
What can we do to combat this resistance?
The best way to deal with this is not by swatting all cockroaches you see—the best way, in fact, is to have a broad idea on pest treatment methods—by diversifying them. This includes vacuums, traps, and sanitation.
In the experiment, researchers and Scientists were able to keep the level of population of the cockroaches by rotating insecticides. Although the levels were maintained, the figure of how many the cockroaches are were not reduced.
Prevention is a lot and is always better than cure so sanitizing it could be the best way. Scharf points his fingers to over-the-counter consumer products of insecticides which really don’t just work—they might have but it caused this.
If you haven’t known, a population of cockroaches has been targeted by alternating chemicals and spreading them out. Infesting a certain area with a chemical and another in one area could be the key but we are still yet to determine what these cockroaches really have.
Do you hate cockroaches? Well, I’m sure you hate them even more after this! The fact that they are developing an immunity to pesticides is amazing but sad too because if they can do it, why can’t we? They’ve been living for millions of years even before us—wouldn’t we be able to pick up some type of a trait from them for us to be resistant to danger, too?