Cockroach populations are rapidly evolving to become “almost impossible” to kill with chemicals alone, a team of US scientists said.

When cockroaches survive an insecticide treatment, they and their offspring quickly become “essentially immune” to it, a Purdue University study published in Scientific Reports found.

 

But crucially, they also develop immunity to a range of other insecticides, even if they were never exposed to them – something the scientists call “cross-resistance”.

“We didn’t have a clue that something like that could happen this fast,” Michael Scharf, professor of entomology – the study of insects and their relationship to humans – said in a statement.

 

“We would see resistance increase four- or six-fold in just one generation.”

Female cockroaches can produce up to 50 offspring every three months, passing their immunity on to them. So even if just a fraction of a cockroach population survives an insecticide treatment and becomes cross-resistant, a decimated population could skyrocket again.Read more

Source web page :The Independent