New ‘Winter Roach’ Invades NYC

New York City rolls out the welcome mat for millions of visitors each year, but city health officials wish they could send one visitor packing. A cockroach species that thrives in cold weather has been found in the Big Apple’s unique High Line Park. Native to the cold northern regions of Asia, Periplaneta Japonica most likely arrived hidden in the soil of imported landscape plants used to turn the old elevated train tracks on the lower west side into a green space.

First seen in 2012 by an exterminator treating the exterior of a building on the High Line, the roach species is new to the U.S. Rutgers University biologists used DNA tests to identify the species, making the High Line discovery the first confirmed sighting of Periplaneta Japonica in the U.S.

Unlike America’s native cockroach population which can only survive winter by moving indoors, this Asian immigrant (and its eggs and offspring) can survive outdoors even when the temperature plunges below freezing. Unlike U.S. roaches, Periplaneta Japonica has the ability to walk on ice and snow, a talent that should not only increase cockroach activity in the city during the winter but also allow this species to spread to new sites in New Jersey and beyond more easily.

Fortunately, Stern Environmental commercial cockroach extermination services are just as effective on this new immigrant as they are on U.S. roaches.