Studies conducted in the United States on different groups of German roaches – the most common found in houses and apartments – show they have mutated. This means that they now taste glucose based sugars, which many traps use to lure the little bastards into eating poison, as bitter and avoid it.

19 different roach populations, taken predominantly from the US and Puerto Rico, were studied to see just how prevalent this spurning of glucose had become.

While only seven of the 19 populations showed the mutation, the lead scientist on the experiment Professor Coby Schal said that the numbers probably would have been higher had they taken samples from exterminators who were struggling to eradicate some infestations.

“It’s very important, in terms of effective pest control,” Mr Schal from the University of Northern Carolina said in a telephone interview with Fairfax Media. “It’s not trivial. It’s out there.”

In a further interesting (well, that might be a strong word) twist, the mutated roaches still eat fructose. They also grow much slower than their glucose munching cousins.

So, if you want to catch a roach, juice an orange on your stick traps. According to Prof Schal, roaches go wild for tuna fish too, but could anybody really bear the smell?

Image: Getty