New York's New Pest: Cold-Weather Roaches

Hardy Asian species found in US for first time
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2013 2:25 AM CST
The male Periplaneta japonica .   (AP Photo/University of Florida)
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(Newser) – Sharp-eyed New Yorkers may spot a new winter sight this year: cockroaches scurrying around outside. Periplaneta japonica, a hardy Asian roach that can withstand harsh winter cold, has been found in the city for the first time. Scientists believe the roaches—which have never been spotted in the US before—probably arrived in the soil of ornamental plants used to adorn the High Line park, a converted stretch of elevated railway.

So will the newcomers take over the Big Apple? Researchers believe there is little cause for concern because the Asian roaches will be competing for space and food with the city's existing roach population, which they probably won't be able to out-compete. There's also no fear of the incomers mating with local bugs to create an all-conquering race of super-roaches. "The male and female genitalia fit together like a lock and key, and that differs by species," one of the biologists who found the roaches explains to the AP. "So we assume that one won't fit the other." (Read more New York City stories.)

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