As if the sweat beading down your back while you wait for a train in 90 percent humidity wasn’t bad enough, there’s another horrific side effect to hot city summers: roaches that are more likely to spread their demon-wings and fly.
DNAinfo did the dirty work of asking experts on the topic — New York’s exterminators — why cockroaches take to the skies in summer. Subways, it seems, are a favorite flight path. “In hot steam tunnels, something with the temperature and the humidity encourages them to fly,” Ken Schumann, an entomologist at Bell Environmental Services, told DNAinfo. “When it’s warm and steamy that seems to be what they like.” Great.
The only solace I have is that they’re flying less here in New York than they are in the South, where food is more spread out. In the Big Apple, garbage is everywhere, so roaches are lazy, and they have less motivation to practice their aerial skills to reach the next rotting dollar slice.
It’s not technically “flying,” it’s more like gliding. If they start somewhere high, they’ll glide down, or they’ll travel in the air over short distances to reach a new spot. From the Orkin website: “They can run very fast,” (still horrifying) “and, when frightened, these insects more commonly scatter on foot.” Well, same.