Scientists find out how insects boost their smell

  • 5 February 2013
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Cockroaches clean antennae by passing them through their mouth.

A group of scientists say they have found out how insects boost their sense of smell.

The Researchers, who are based in America, studied lots of cockroaches and they noticed the creatures licked their antennae.

The insects' antennae are very important because they help the insect taste, smell and understand their environment.

When they groom themselves they clean up any dirt that gets caught on them.

Scientists say this is important because even tiny specks of dust or oil can affect how well an insect can smell.

In their study, the insects that could not groom themselves could not pick up any smells the scientists wafted in front of them.

They also found that it is the same for carpenter ants and houseflies.

Video courtesy of Ayako Wada-Katsumata, North Carolina State University.