Evolution of the Cockroaches

Evolution of the Cockroaches



Course Instructor


Cockroaches have managed to survive for almost 350 million years because of their revolutionary tricks. Because of changing defense of the cockroaches, the knowledge regarding their adaptation to poison baits is a useful tool in determining the right pest control for a particular period of time. Scientists have tried changing various methods of battling cockroaches but the insects’ behavior quickly turns them against the techniques employed by the professionals. The rate of resistance amongst cockroaches and other pests is high thus prompting the pest control industry to develop new poison baits to counter resistance of the pests (Gorman, 2013).

Interestingly, the main cause of coming up with new baits is not prompted by ineffectiveness of the baits but rather the behavior of cockroaches which makes them to simply avoid the poisons. Two nerve cells investigated included the one responding to sugar and other sweet substances and the nerve cell which responds to bitter substances. Although cockroaches are supposed to respond to sweet substances by eating it, they repelled glucose since it tastes bitter for them by making their bitter detector fire. Scientists later blamed generic mutation to have caused the insects to respond to sweet glucose as bitter (Gorman, 2013).

The writer believes that cockroaches have many revolutionary tricks which have contributed to their survival for a very long time. He feels that the quick change of cockroaches’ behavior to poisons is a big challenge to scientists and even pest control industry. He asserts that cockroaches have developed defense against sweet tasting poison bait but still, the experts have not succeeded in solving the puzzle (Gorman, 2013). However, the writer feels that the defense mechanism used by the cockroaches may be very useful in controlling other forms of pests.


Gorman, James. (2013, May 23). Wily Cockroaches Find Another Survival Trick: Laying Off the Sweets. The New York Times, pp.1A, 2A.