Killing cockroaches with pesticides only makes the species stronger book


When I was about 10 years old, I saw a cockroach on the kitchen counter and grabbed the object closest to me: a coffee pot, put it on the insect’s head, and then grabbed something other than the glass handle and saw me standing there. “I’m sorry mom” I said about the broken bottle. “But at least I got the cockroach.”

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German cockroaches are a growing and ubiquitous part of a trailer garden in Phoenix, Arizona. Nothing seems to discourage them: no poison, no electricity, no bug bombs. It wasn’t until we got home that our family lost the six-legged plague.

Tens of thousands of people in the United States have realized the frustration of being infected with bad cockroaches. There could be a good reason why these errors are so difficult to control. A growing body of data shows that some German cockroaches in the country have developed resistance to pesticides and have essentially rendered the chemical useless.

For example, a recent study in the journal Economic Entomology shows that German cockroaches in some residential units in southern California can survive exposure to five of the most commonly used pesticides.

This is a concern because severe cockroach infections can cause health problems such as asthma or allergies, says Chou-Yang Lee, professor of urban entomology at Riverside University of California. At least 11 different allergies have been linked to Blattella Germanica, and bacteria such as Salmonella can also be spread. The stress of the cockroach menace can affect a person’s mental health.


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