Say goodbye to roach-free winters.

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)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a highway
    Transportation

    Americans Are Spending Billions on Bad Highway Expansions

    PIRG’s annual list of “highway boondoggles” includes nine transportation projects that will cost a total of $25 billion while driving up emissions.

  2. a photo of Zurich, Switzerland
    Life

    Death to Livability!

    What does it really mean when certain kinds of cities keep getting ranked as the world’s “most livable”?

  3. A rendering of Quayside, the waterfront development now being planned for Toronto.
    Solutions

    A Big Master Plan for Google's Growing Smart City

    Google sibling company Sidewalk Labs has revealed its master plan for the controversial Quayside waterfront development—and it’s a lot bigger.

  4. Design

    Revisiting Pittsburgh’s Era of Big Plans

    A conversation with the trio of authors behind a new book about the Steel City’s mid-20th-century transformation.

  5. Life

    McDonald's Restaurants Are America's Ultimate 'Third Places'

    Americans have fewer and fewer spaces to gather. That’s where nuggets come in.

×