In the battle against cockroaches, the little black traps known as Combat have become a familiar weapon. Roaches squeeze their greasy bodies into the traps, eat some of the chemical poison, and go home to die. Now, EcoScience Corp. in Amherst, Mass., thinks it has a better idea for killing the pests. The company has developed a Combat-like trap that, instead of a chemical, contains a natural fungus that infects roaches and kills them after a few days. The difference is that the fungus-exposed pest becomes kind of a "Typhoid Roachie," spreading the disease to his closest friends. EcoScience, a biopesticide company, has signed a distribution agreement for the roach trap with Roussel Bio Corp., a division of France's Roussel Uclaf, and expects marketing approval from the Environmental Protection Agency by early 1992. EcoScience has also found fungi to fight flies, aquatic water weeds, and lawn insects. One plus: Biopesticides, unlike many chemicals, pose no threat to humans or other animals.

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