Tags:cockroach biology,cockroach research,GeoBeats,roach physiology,roaches clean antenna,why roaches groom,cockroach sense smell
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Cockroaches' sense of smell improves by cleaning. A fascinating study reveals that cockroaches sharpen their senses by cleaning their antennas. By comparing groomed and ungroomed cockroach antennas, researchers from North Carolina State University found that the cockroaches not only clean off particles that get stuck to their antennas, they also clean off secretions that are naturally produced by their own body. When the cockroaches do not groom themselves, a shiny substance accumulates on their antennas. The groomed cockroaches were better able to smell and sense their surroundings, which in turn helps them do things that are crucial to their survival like find food, sense danger, and find a mate. North Carolina State University entomologist Coby Schal, who worked on the study said: “Grooming is necessary to keep these foreign and native substances at a particular level.” The data could be helpful in making more effective pesticides that the roaches would consume while cleaning their antennas. Other insects like houseflies and ants also clean their antennas, but they use different methods of grooming.