Science News

Flying Cockroaches Are Swooping Around New York City Due To Heat Wave

Photo from Pixabay

Cockroaches in New York City have started taking flight in order to beat the heat, in scenes reminiscent of horror movies.

While New Yorkers are hiding indoors and staying cool with air-conditioning, the crawling insects have responded to the city’s extreme weather conditions by going airborne, Tech Times reports.

Called American Cockroaches, these insects have a second pair of wings lying beneath the first, the former for flying and the latter for protection. Flying cockroaches are normal in states like Texas and Florida, where they are also known as palmetto bugs due to their preference for palm trees.

As opposed to the muggier, hotter southern states, New York is generally cooler, so flying cockroaches are few and far between, as they prefer to scurry about on the ground (and sometimes, get into food). However, drastic temperature increases in the northeast US has jump-started a natural reaction in the city’s aroaches.

Dr. Dominic Evangelista, a cockroach expert, says,

At those temperatures, when they get exceedingly high, moisture in their bodies is evaporating from the little spaces in between their hardened segments, so they’re definitely trying to move around to cool off.

The cockroaches don’t actually fly, like birds do, more like glide from higher locations to lower ones for short stretches. They can also only go as far as one block. The reason behind this is evolution, too.

New York City has a higher density of trash cans and a very large food supply for roaches, which means they have had to rely less on their wings in search of food. Their wings became less important, so they can’t fly as far or as well as their counterparts in other states.

Still, this probably offers little, if any comfort, to New Yorkers that any flying cockroaches they encounter won’t be flying too long or far.

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