Cockroaches are everywhere, and they have been for approximately 300 million years. In case that fact isn't unsettling enough for you, DNA Info reports that during particularly hot and steamy days, American cockroaches are more likely to spread their wings and take to the sky.
"In hot steam tunnels, something with the temperature and the humidity encourages them to fly," entomologist Ken Schumann said. American Museum of Natural History researcher Louis Sorkin added that the insects are able to use their muscles more when its hot (which is enough to keep us from ever venturing outside again).
Flying roaches are not an anomaly in other parts of the country. Southern cockroaches, colloquially known as palmetto bugs, are frequent fliers because they sometimes have to cover more ground in order to find their next meal. On the other hand, cockroaches found in places like New York City are more prone to scurrying because food is easier to find, longtime exterminator Rich Miller told DNA Info.
"As the evolution occurred, their wings became and less important to them," Miller said. "There’s so much food around. They don’t use their wings like they used to." But not using them like they used to is not the same as not having them.
With parts of the country suffering through terrible heat waves and devastating droughts, inspired cockroaches raining down from ledges and walls are the last thing we need.
[h/t DNA Info]
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