NEW YORK - If you think it's hard to outsmart a cockroach, you're right. Scientists have discovered how some of these bugs evolved to resist sweet-tasting poison baits. In tests in an apartment kitchen, it took just five years for a genetic mutation to spread so widely through a roach population that a bait became useless.
That's a remarkable show of evolutionary change. The research by scientists at North Carolina State University explains how the genetic mutation works. It makes neurons tell the roach brain that the sugar glucose tastes bitter, not sweet.
Don't worry though. Most pesticide makers have already figured out how to adjust their poisonous bait recipes. The new research was reported Thursday in the journal Science.