25 May 2013

Evolving cockroaches shun sugar-laden bait

12:39 am on 25 May 2013

A strain of cockroaches in Europe has evolved to outsmart the sugar traps used to eradicate them.

American scientists found the mutant cockroaches had what they called a reorganised sense of taste, making them perceive the glucose used to coat poisoned bait not as sweet but rather as bitter.

The North Carolina State University team found they rejected poisoned-baited jam in favour of peanut butter.

One of the researchers, Dr Coby Schal, says glucose-averse cockroaches reacted to sugar like a baby does to spinach.