MACON, Ga. — They are creepy, crawly, and they could be taking over.
A cockroach is big brown bug often found in basements and bathrooms.
It is an insect that carries bacteria, and one that no one really likes.
When a CNN article popped up online claiming cockroaches are becoming immune to insecticides, a lot of people probably panicked.
But is it true?
It's based on a new study from Purdue University scientists.
They found that German cockroaches — ones typically found in kitchens, or small, warm areas of the house — are becoming harder to eliminate as they develop a "cross-resistance" to insecticides.
Dan Suiter is a University of Georgia entomology professor. He said that this concept is all based on genetics.
If 100 roaches are sprayed with a chemical, it may kill 95 of them. The remaining five are resistant to the pesticide, and they may pass that resistant gene on to their off spring.
So over time, the species may develop a tolerance.
"The concept of insecticide resistance is that a group of insects today is more tolerant than the same quantity of insecticide that they encounter than any previous generations," Suiter said.
Ben Dupree with Arrow Exterminators in Macon says his guys use a combination of products on roaches. In this case, if a roach is immune to one pesticide, a different one may knock it out.
Unfortunately, in the Purdue study, scientists found that some roaches resisted a combination of three chemicals.
So we verified — yes — some cockroaches are becoming immune to some types of pesticides, but it is not the end of the world.
Purdue scientists say combining chemical treatments with traps and vacuums should still be an effective way to exterminate or eliminate the pests.
That Purdue research team also concluded that the "roach resistance" problem is worse in low-income areas and other places where effective pest control is not available.