New Yorkers have a lot to worry about. High rent prices, other New Yorkers, pizza toppings —ummm too many cool bars? Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m not from New York. I don’t know your struggles. What I do know is, that like any place with a dense population, the only thing more prevalent than rats and cockroaches, is hysteria.
Such is the exponentially audible squealing reverberating around the city, as news reaches people that the hot weather could cause cockroaches to start flying. FLYING! Like Wonder Woman or Super Jesus!
— Daniel Schneider (@BiologistDan) August 13, 2016
According to Louis Sorkin at the American Museum of Natural History, the higher temperatures allow the insects “more use of their muscles.” Apparently there is a logical conclusion between more activity in their muscles and more flight. Any activity in my muscles means I have to take a nap. Nevertheless, the possibility of flying cockroaches on top of high temperatures has sent some New Yorkers over the edge.
NOPE NOPE NOPE. The first time I see a flying cockroach, I’m driving to work until winter. https://t.co/iWgYu12bUc
— Adam Schrader (@Schrader_Adam) August 13, 2016
I have another admission. I’m not just not from New York. I’m Australian. And frankly, you New Yorkers need to harden up. Flying cockroaches are child’s play. We walk around with them on leashes like kites. Until I see the headline: “Scientists discover breed of flying crocodile,” I think I’ll be able to keep my cool.
Just in case my calling you a wuss hasn’t fixed anything, here are some tips on how to survive in a place full of insects that’s next to the sun.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Ignorance is bliss (it’s really not, but let’s ignore that). As all Australians know, we are at all times surrounded by yucky stuff and things that want to kill us. How do we maintain our laid-back lifestyle? Firstly, it’s usually too hot to energetically panic all the time. Secondly, as long as we can’t see it, it’s not there. Camouflage is not only a defence mechanism for them, but for us too.
Roaches aren’t fans of light. Obviously, in hot weather you might not be keen on having a bunch of lights on. However, open the blinds and fill your space with as much natural or artificial light as you can bear. That doesn’t mean they won’t be congregating under the fridge; but as far as we’re concerned under the fridge is basically Mars.
Two Flying Cockroaches with One Stone
Cockroaches are scavengers. Their only redeeming quality is that they help materials decay. They evolved as scavengers of decaying plant material; therefore, they prefer carbohydrates to proteins and fats. Now, if there is one thing to scare you into a healthy diet, it’s flying gross insects. So adios the carbs, sweat away the fat, and enjoy your cockroach free life. Then again, who cares about cockroaches, you’ll be thin and therefore popular and happy!
This is War
Know the battlefield. Roaches like to travel alongside walls and edges, through crevices and vents. You have to get your Macaulay Culkin on. Home Alone is no longer just your favourite 90s film, it’s a how-to video.
Set traps near cracks and damp places likely to harbour the enemy. Place a screen or mesh over vents. Employ the use of low-toxicity pesticides, like boric acid and diatomaceous earth to populous areas. Grease up your stairs! Get to high ground and throw bricks at them!
Ok maybe I got carried away. The lesson is to know your battlefield, and prepare accordingly.
If all else fails, burn everything and move to Finland.