The pheromones produced by gut bacteria in German Cockroaches are a key factor in attracting other roaches, according to new research, opening the way to use the chemicals to make more efficient baits and traps.
The study identified 40 different compounds in the feaces of regular roaches.
When the insects that had their gut bacteria removed, it was found that 12 of these chemicals were missing and 24 more were in miniscule amounts. Leading researchers to believe that the bacteria living in the gut of these cockroaches were directly responsible for the odor of the droppings.
“When you lose the gut bacteria, you lose the aggregation pheromones” says corresponding author Coby Schal, Blanton J. Whitmire Distinguished Professor at North Carolina State University.
The feaces are also an important factor for juvenile cockroach development, as contact between cockroaches of the same species leads to faster sexual maturity and more rapid growth.