Cockroaches are wising up to some of our cockroach-killing tricks. As a group of North Carolina researchers reported Thursday in Science, certain populations of the critters have evolved aversions to glucose, which pest-control industries have been routinely adding into poisonous baits because of most cockroaches’ proclivity for it. These more adaptive cockroaches essentially changed their own body chemistry so as not to fall for the usual baits.
All cockroaches can register sweet and bitter flavors by way of “taste hairs” that grow on their antennae. By touching them to a pile of food, the cockroaches can identify if a pile of food is sugary-sweet.