"In the 1980s, manufactures began making cockroach baits that combined sweet glucose with deadly insecticides. By 1993, many cockroach populations somehow developed an aversion to the bait. Now, 20 years later, scientists finally understand how the roaches beat these traps."
"It turns out that this glucose actually sets off the bitter receptors in the insects' 'taste buds.' And given the genetic basis for this glucose aversion, this trait quickly spread throughout cockroach populations, rendering the traps useless.
There's no denying that cockroaches are survivors. Despite our best efforts, we just can't seem to beat them. 'We have had this ongoing arms race with roaches for as long as we have been around,' says Coby Schal, an urban entomologist at North Carolina State University. 'When we come up with something, they come up with an adaptation to survive.'"
Joseph Bennington-Castro reports for io9 May 23, 2013.