Well, signs are really starting to pile up that the end is nigh for the New York City renaissance that began around 1993. First, voters elected far-left radical Bill de Blasio as mayor. Now, scientists have confirmed that a breed of super cockroach that is impervious to cold weather has made its way to the city.
The species, Periplaneta japonica, is common in Asia but had never before crawled on American shores as far as anyone knew, reports Rutgers Today. Recently, however, Rutgers University insect biologists Jessica Ware and Dominic Evangelista positively identified some six-legged creatures found in Manhattan as members of the Asian species.
This particular variety of cockroach is special because it can survive not only the balmy comfort of New York City summers and New York City rent-controlled apartments but also the harsh, freezing temperatures of the city’s winters—outside, no less.
“As the species has invaded Korea and China, there has been some confirmation that it does very well in cold climates, so it is very conceivable that it could live outdoors during winter in New York,” Ware told Rutgers Today. “That is in addition to its being well suited to live indoors alongside the species that already are here.”
An exterminator first noticed the species last year when he was working on the lower west side’s High Line, a one-mile elevated walkway filled with all kinds of different plants. The curious exterminator sent carcasses from roach traps to be analyzed at the University of Florida.
The Periplaneta japonica carcasses eventually ended up at Rutgers for Ware and Evangelista to inspect.
The scientists say they aren’t sure how the Asian cockroaches arrived in the Big Apple. They speculate that the culprit could be the soil that came with an ornamental plant now adorning the High Line.
As far as dealing with the new reality of weather-resistant cockroaches, Ware and Evangelista suggest that America should remain calm.
“I could imagine japonica being outside and walking around,” Ware noted, “though I don’t know how well it would do in dirty New York snow.”
The odds of some mutant, hybrid cockroach resulting from interbreeding between standard American cockroaches and the Asian species are low, the scientists added, because male and female genitalia among cockroaches usually “fit together like a lock and key and that differs by species.”
Also, there are people who closely study cockroach genitalia.