But of course, we already know how they’re killing us, and we keep on eating them.
That’s one reason why cockroaches will probably outlive us: They’ve learned to avoid the sweets.
The poison baits we put out for roaches are sweet-tasting, and scientists who have been observing various populations have discovered that these clever survivors have figured out that if it tastes good, it’s poison.
So, how are the roaches responding? Basically, they’ve developed a simple, yet highly effective defense. Roaches taste with hairs that extend from their face, antennae and mouth. The hairs contain sweet and bitter detectors, and the insects have changed their internal chemistry around so that glucose, which is as attractive to them as it is to us and other animals, now tastes bitter to them.
The full study is here.
Don’t you wish you were so smart?
Note: This blog does not endorse experimentation on captive animals. However, we do sometimes quote the results of these experiments, especially when they help make the case that the animals have a level of sentience, self-awareness, and, in some cases, theory of mind, that demonstrates they should not be being kept in captivity in the first place.