Can you imagine the door bell ringing and you open up to a beautiful woman in a bikini with a sprayer and a tool belt?
While that business model might work for a burger and wing house I’m not sure it would be real effective in the pest control industry. Still. sex just might be the best weapon against roaches since this age old fight began. Researchers at Cornell and North Carolina State Universities have developed a pheromone that so closely mimics the female german cockroaches mating lure that the males ran to the spot in less than 9 seconds of it being placed. Even starving roaches passed on peanut butter in their paths to get the alluring scent in hopes of, well you know.
Pheromones are nothing new but unlocking the german roach sexual lure has been a mystery for many years. Isolating the gland took more than 15,000 samples and tests to get the male reaction for the exact pheromone. Disembodied male antenna were used, hooked to a wire and connected to a machine that could detect the reaction. I wonder what these scientist do for fun?
The most promising aspect of the study is that the pheromone could be used to attract the adult males to a kill zone or baited area that they can’t resist. Any number of techniques or products could be used at that point to get these males to carry insecticide back to nesting sites or just kill them outright.
As you might of guessed the scent does not work on females or the juvenile roaches and it’s not quite ready to bring to market. Exterminators in the know however are anxiously awaiting its arrival and already planning new strategies to use this new weapon. While I’m excited as well I’ve heard of many ‘silver bullets’ over the years and only a few have really delivered. What might be more exciting will be to watch the advertising campaigns from the different pest control companies. Will they be able to resist the sex sells angle and have scantily dressed women pull up to a house in their bug trucks. After years of men in ties or bug costumes, I hope not.