A Cold Tolerant Roach Invades New York

One of the constant companions of humanity is the common cockroach. However, the common roach suffers from a singular weakness. They are very vulnerable to temperature and can only survive in areas where warm temperatures are maintained. Without the warm environments of human cities, in fact, they aren’t as much of a pest as they are now.

A new species of cockroach which doesn’t suffer from this problem has been found in New York. The Japanese Cockroach (Periplaneta japonica) is common in Japan and other Asian countries. This insect was first found in North America in 2012 where a New York exterminator observed the insect. It’s introduction to the West could be a big problem since it is cold tolerant. The introduction of species from other countries is a developing problem and one we are likely to see increasing with changes in global temperatures.

There has been some discrepancy in reporting this insect and it’s invasion of North America. Several articles have referred to it as the discovery of a mutated version of the North American cockroach, but it is not. However, there is the very real possibility of it interbreeding with species already here and causing problems in America.


Natasha Jacobs is a graduate of Parsons School of Design. She’s based in Manhattan but travels much of the year. Natasha has written for NPR, Motherboard, MSN Money, and the Huffington Post. Natasha is a entertainment reporter, focusing on performance arts and culture.

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