Domestic cockroaches are becoming resistant to pesticides due to climate change

climate change and cockroaches

The presence of cockroaches is increasing and their frequency of appearance is increasing. This fact has been corroborated by entomologists, experts in the field of insect study, as well as pest control companies that specialize in addressing these types of problems. The Domestic cockroaches are becoming resistant to pesticides due to climate change.

If you want to know more about this topic, this is your post.

Increase in the number of cockroaches


According to Xavier Bellés, professor at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF) with 42 years of experience studying cockroaches, climate change is advantageous for the proliferation of these insects. Rising temperatures and longer duration provide ideal conditions for rapid growth and greater reproduction. Bellés focuses specifically on the blonde and American cockroaches, which are the most common species in urban areas.

According to the researcher at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF), as temperatures continue to increase, cockroaches are expected to multiply at a faster rate. In the laboratory it has been observed that at a temperature of 30º Celsius the biological cycle of these insects lasts one month, while at 25º Celsius it lasts 48 days. This means that higher temperatures (as long as they do not exceed 40º Celsius) accelerate the growth of cockroach larvae, allowing them to reach adulthood and reproduce more quickly.

The accelerated life cycle not only leads to an increase in the number of cockroaches in a given environment, but also gives them an advantage in adapting to human habitats. They develop resistance to insecticides at a faster rate, thanks to the presence of duplicated genes in their genome that provide resistance to toxins and aid in detoxification. This genetic advantage allows cockroaches to metabolize and become resistant to new synthetic toxins in just a few generations of exposure.

Climate change and cockroaches

more cockroaches

As climate change causes temperatures to rise, cockroaches can reproduce more frequently in a shorter period of time. This allows them to avoid the generations needed to develop resistance and ultimately become immune to insecticides more quickly. The researcher describes this phenomenon as a continuous race between humans, who continually invent powerful insecticides, and cockroaches, which, after a few reproductive cycles, They devise ways to metabolize these chemicals.

In addition, it highlights that the genetic composition of these insects also reveals specific genes that give them greater olfactory and tactile capabilities. This advantageous attribute allows them to effortlessly infiltrate residences and places with abundant food and more favorable climatic conditions, surpassing the confines of sewers by exploiting unforeseen openings. It highlights the remarkable adaptability of domestic cockroaches, affirming their ability to rival humans within the confines of their homes.

How to prevent

cockroach risks

According to the entomologist, complete eradication is not possible, so our best option is to live with them. We can monitor their movements and when we deal with infestations, Use non-toxic methods that are safe for humans and do not contribute to cockroach resistance.

Facing it is a formidable challenge and there are no quick solutions. However, there are alternative options available, such as hormone-based anti-growth substances or uric acid insecticides, which not only effectively combat the problem but also prioritize environmental sustainability. To make the most of these alternatives, it is essential to seek guidance from experts in the field.

The general director of Anecpla, Jorge Galván, shares the same suggestion. He highlights the importance of a comprehensive approach to combating cockroaches, which involves the experience of a professional who can determine the effectiveness of the chosen product. Cockroaches not only develop resistance, but also develop a dislike for certain substances. This makes the initial attractant lose its appeal, causing a decrease in consumption. As a result, alternative substances must be employed to successfully eradicate these pests.

What causes cockroaches to develop resistance to insecticides?

Cockroaches, like other insects, have resistance to insecticides for similar reasons. Certain individuals within the cockroach population have genes that give them immunity against the effects of insecticidal substances. Consequently, when exposed to insecticides, it is inevitable that resistant cockroaches will survive, while susceptible ones will face a high mortality rate. As resistant cockroaches enter a new reproductive cycle, they transmit the genes responsible for their invulnerability to their offspring. Consequently, the population of resistant cockroaches continues to grow steadily.

The level of effectiveness of insecticides is measured by a metric known as LC50, which quantifies the amount of insecticide needed to eliminate 50% of the insect population. In recent times, a notable trend has emerged where the LC50 for most commercially available insecticides has steadily increased, resulting in a greater amount of insecticide needed to eradicate cockroaches, thus allowing many of them to survive. .

There are two different forms of resistance that can be identified. Resistance to insecticides can manifest itself in two ways: physiological and behavioral. The first, which we have already observed, involves certain genes in cockroaches that allow them to evade the mechanisms that typically lead to insecticide-induced mortality. Consequently, Even when exposed to insecticides, they remain unharmed. This resistance can take various forms, such as the development of a thicker cuticle that makes it difficult for insecticides to penetrate your bloodstream. Additionally, mutations that affect your metabolism can cause your cells to rapidly modify and eliminate the insecticide without any adverse effects.

In certain cases, insects may not develop complete resistance to insecticides, but instead require a significantly higher dose than usual to be eradicated. This is where behavioral resistance comes into play. When insects are exposed to a small amount of insecticide that is insufficient to eliminate them, they acquire the ability to detect it, often through smell, and subsequently avoid areas that have been sprayed with it.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about why domestic cockroaches are becoming resistant to pesticides due to climate change.

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