The N.C. State Technician Online reports that Coby Schal’s research relating to the self-cleaning habit of cockroaches has opened new avenues for study and potential pest control options.
Schal’s research revolves around the cuticular lipids cockroaches produce on their bodies, which has been an area of interest for many years.
“[The lipids] function in preventing water loss,” Schal said. “When we transport apples, we put the wax on there to prevent them from losing water. The cockroach does the same with its own body. This prevents the cockroach from losing water in a humid environment.”
The waxes that cockroaches form, some as sex pheromones, are incredibly multifaceted and serve several purposes among insects.
The current subject of Schal’s cockroach research came from an observation made by one of his collaborators in Russia. As part of an experiment, researchers immobilized a cockroach for several hours.
Source: N.C. State Technician