Nightmare Fuel: Cockroaches Are Becoming Immune To Insecticides

by Madison Vanderberg
Scary Mommy and Wi6995/Getty

Cockroaches are becoming so immune to insecticides that you need traps, vacuums, and maybe even a lizard to kill them

The president is taking $2.5 million from US National Parks to throw a dumb July 4th rally, conservatives are mad at Oreos, and in other “Seriously, dude?” news this week, cockroaches are becoming so immune to insecticide that it’s basically a waste of money to buy it anymore. How fun.

Scientists from Purdue found that when they exposed German cockroaches to different insecticides, the insects developed a resistance to the insecticide, picked up cross resistances to other insecticides, and passed that resistance on to their offspring, meaning it’s only a matter of time before cockroaches are — to quote CNN — “insecticide-proof.”

Exterminators wipe out cockroach populations with different classes of insecticides, so the average exterminator will mix and match different insecticide types at random until one, or a combination, works. In the study, researchers tested the cockroaches first to find out which insecticides they were already immune to — so they could exterminate with an insecticide the insects weren’t immune to — and even then, using insecticides they knew the cockroaches weren’t immune to, the researchers could only stabilize the cockroach population, they couldn’t eliminate them. Now consider that a female cockroach can produce 200 to 300 offspring, and that’s some terrifying math.

Researchers basically said that insecticide on its own is “just throwing money away” and that if you really want to eliminate them you need a combination of “chemical treatments with traps, improved sanitation and vacuums that can remove cockroaches.” Conveniently, you can buy the aforementioned traps and vacuums on Amazon.

But as the good people of Facebook stated, cockroaches will never be immune to a good slap from a pair of shoes.



And even then, the shoe method doesn’t always work. Case in point: I “killed” a cockroach with a shoe in my kitchen the other day, and for some reason decided to push it into the corner instead of throwing it away. When I checked on it (him? her?) the next day, the cockroach was peddling its legs and trying to flip back over. LOL someone help me please.

Facebook commenters also tipped us off to the fact that lizards and geckos eat cockroaches, which is probably the only reason to get a domestic reptile as a pet. Apparently, cockroaches are a dietary necessity for a number of lizard varieties. #TheMoreYouKnow.


That being said, this is far from the worst bug and/or critter-related news we’ve ever heard. Last summer, a literal swarm of bees attacked a hot dog stand in Times Square and it was so bad, police had to close down several city blocks. Apparently the NYPD has two beekeepers on staff and one explained that “the hive got overcrowded because it was hot and humid and [the bees] just needed a new place to go so they can keep cool.” Oh, because of course.

Oh, and a boy in Texas found a rattlesnake in his toilet and when his parents called in experts to remove the snake, they found 23 additional snakes hiding on their property! Fun times.

Well, if climate change doesn’t get us, the insect/reptile uprising will. Happy Wednesday everybody.