Flying cockroaches? NJ’s heat wave has them spreading their wings
Just in case you weren't sick of the heat and humidity yet, here's a reason to put you over the edge: flying cockroaches.
The tropical conditions outside make these pests more likely to spread their wings to get from one spot to the next. Even if you don't see them in the air, cockroaches are also more likely to be out in the open on New Jersey's streets due to the current stretch of sticky weather.
"When they do fly, it tends to be an awkward flight," said Jeffrey White, an entomologist with Cooper Pest Solutions in Lawrenceville. "It's not the prettiest flight, but they do have that ability once it gets warm enough out."
The flight of the American cockroach, New Jersey's most-common species, is considered more of a glide by experts. They tend to swoop down to the ground from higher elevations, rather than take off from the ground like birds.
They're known as palmetto bugs in southern states such as Florida and Texas where heat is a year-round issue and they typically hang on palm trees.
Cockroaches are typically found in hot and moist areas, such as steam pipes and underneath buildings, White said. So when it feels like it currently does outdoors, Mother Nature is inviting them to share the sidewalks and streets with us.
If you're grossed out by these critters, that's a good thing. You definitely don't want to touch them and you may want to limit your yawns if they're feeling particularly flighty.
"They're disease-carrying insects because they live in very filthy areas," said Kenneth Schumann, an entomologist and technical operations manager for Bell Environmental Services in Fairfield. "They're picking up all kinds of pathogens, just like flies do."
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