Cold-Resistant Cockroaches Discovered in New York

Say goodbye to roach-free winters.

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Cold temperatures are supposed to provide us a reprieve from cockroaches. As explained in this cockroach FAQ from the biology department at UMass Amherst, the insects can die of cold shock and so often spend the winter hibernating.

UNTIL NOW. 

A breed of cockroach never before seen in the United States has reportedly been spotted in New York City, and this bug doesn't mind the cold. The Japanese cockroach (Periplaneta japonica) can survive at temperatures below freezing. Its ability to move on ice, meanwhile, "is a seasonal phenomenon unique to P. japonica." How horrifying (and special). 

Should you be worried that this new type of cockroach has come to America (via some plants)? Depends. If you live in Florida, you are probably not impressed. Cockroaches are constant companions in the Sunshine State. But if you live in New York, you were probably really looking forward to your roach vacation. According to a recent paper in the Journal of Economic Entomology, the Japanese cockroach is similar enough to regular ol' New York cockroaches that the two species will compete for food.

"More time and energy spent competing means less time and energy to devote to reproduction," researchers say.

One can only hope. 

Top image: A Japanese cockroach. (Courtesy University of Florida)

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