If you’re willing to have cockroaches run riot in your house for a month then you might be able to land yourself with a cool $2,000. The Pest Informer, a pest control and media company based in North Carolina, recently posted a call-out asking for volunteers for a study to test out the efficacy of various anti-cockroach treatments.
By signing up, participants will give permission to have around 100 American cockroaches be released into their property. Over the course of 30 days, the team will test out a specific pest extermination technique and gauge how effective they were.
If the infestation isn’t cleared up by end of the trial, they will use traditional cockroach treatment options at no extra cost.
"We have over 20 years in the industry working as pest control technicians and owning our own pest control companies, so we know a thing or two about getting rid of pests," the company wrote on their website. "That being said, as technology advances, we're always looking for the newest and greatest ways to get rid of pests (cockroaches specifically)."
The company is currently only looking for five to seven households to join the trial, but owner David Floyd told NPR they’ve already received over 2,500 applicants in less than a week
"We'll be looking at a combination of current popular DIY techniques as well as a few we've thought up ourselves, but we'll be keeping these under wraps until our tests have been completed," Floyd added.
The American cockroach (Periplaneta americana) is the largest species of common cockroach. They are actually native to Africa and the Middle East, but the species was introduced to the Americas by ships in the 17th century.
Ever since, they have been the scourge of homeowners, scuttling indoors to find warmth and food. Cockroaches, of which there are thousands of species, are widely hated for good reason. They are carriers of dozens of nasty pathogens, like E. coli and salmonella, as well as asthma-triggering allergens.
It looks like the art of killing these pests has recently become harder too. A 2019 study found that “superbug cockroaches” that are resistant to many widely used bug sprays and insecticides have evolved in certain parts of the world.
Let’s hope the Pest Informer team knows they have their work cut out for them…