Heat wave hassle: Flying roaches

Cockroaches are more predisposed to flying when it gets hot and steamy, apparently.

New York City was forecast to hit 91 degrees on Monday, and the season’s scorching weather reportedly makes American cockroaches more likely to defy gravity and fly.

The website DNAinfo spoke to experts on the subject of heat, roaches, and flight, and while no one is saying that the critters are great aviators, experts also said that the heat might prompt them to use their wings more.

Louis Sorkin, a senior scientific assistant at the American Museum of Natural history and entomologist, told DNAinfo that “with more heat they have more use of their muscles,” and that “the more activity, the more flight.”

There are thousands of species of roaches, and these ancient, disgusting pests date back hundreds of millions of years, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. American cockroaches have “well-developed wings,” Britannica says, adding that “most species are not good flyers.”

Roaches are also more likely to fly in the balmy south; they are also happily less likely to fly in New York City, where trash is easy to come by, the owner of an exterminating company told DNAinfo.

DNAinfo pointed out that the article resulted in spirited posts on Twitter, including one from Amanda Mull, who wrote that she “once saw a flying roach so big it chased my parents 60lb dog out of a room.”

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