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Newly Arrived Cockroach Species Knows How to ‘Hitchhike’ to New Jersey

We don’t usually do PSAs, but in this case, FishbowlNY thought it was worth nipping in the bud the frightening news of a newly discovered, cold-weather resistant NYC cockroach species.

EvangelistaWare

Rutgers-Newark assistant professor of biological sciences Jessica Ware (picture, right), co-author of a new scientific journal article about the discovery of Asian strand Periplaneta japonica, explains that Pj traces were first discovered by an exterminator working in 2012 on the High Line. The one big difference between this new species and the other kinds that scurry when the kitchen light is turned on is that these insects also thrive in cold, winter weather.

Together with co-author Dominic Evangelista (left), a University of Florida scholar, Ware tries to put a positive spin at Rutgers News on this latest creepy-crawly development. We’re definitely going to hold her to it:

“Because this species is very similar to cockroach species that already exist in the urban environment,” says Evangelista, “they likely will compete with each other for space and for food.” And as they compete, says Ware, “their combined numbers inside buildings could actually fall because more time and energy spent competing means less time and energy to devote to reproduction.”

Meanwhile, to all those in New Jersey readying another NYC put-down, don’t get too glib. Ware says the Pj species does “very well as hitchhikers.”

[Photo courtesy: Rutgers]

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