This fatalistic vision is brought to you by the very disturbing news that cockroaches have apparently begun to develop a cross-resistance to powerful insecticides. Scientists from Purdue exposed German cockroaches to different insecticides, and found that the cockroach populations not only developed a resistance to the insecticide they were exposed to, but also picked up resistances to other insecticides. The super-immune insects can then pass their resistance on to their offspring, making it only a matter of time before a given population becomes, essentially, insecticide-proof.
“Cockroaches developing resistance to multiple classes of insecticides at once will make controlling these pests almost impossible with chemicals alone,” says Michael Scharf of Purdue University, who led the study.
The way to combat this, Scharf says, is to diversify pest treatment methods. This could include physical methods like traps and vacuums, and preventative measures like sanitation.