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Consequences of Climate Change: Flying Cockroaches Invade NYC as Heat Wave Intensifies

Aug 15, 2016 04:00 AM EDT

As the intense heat and humidity in New York City worsens this week, cockroaches are planning an invasion, all thanks to a massive heat wave and climate change.

Heat-Loving Pests

In a report from DNA Info, American cockroaches have wings but they do not usually use them for flight, especially those living in urban areas such as New York due to the amount of food waste and garbage at hand.

However, experts say that the oppressive heat in the Eastern Coast will make American cockroaches more mobile, using their muscles by flying and roaming around.

“In hot steam tunnels, something with the temperature and the humidity encourages them to fly. When it's warm and steamy that seems to be what they like," said Ken Schuman, an entomologist from Bell Environmental Sciences.

More Urban Waste, Lazier Roaches

Rich Miller, owner of Broadway Exterminating, told the outlet that New York City's trash can and food waste have decreased the ability of American cockroaches to fly. In Southern states such as Texas and Florida, cockroaches usually utilize their wings to travel for food.

“As the evolution occurred, their wings became and less important to them. There’s so much food around. They don’t use their wings like they used to," Miller explained.

Flying Roaches to be an Everyday Thing?

Attn notes that because of the increasing occurrences of heat waves in the U.S. due to climate change, flying cockroaches may now be a regular thing,

According to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, analysis of high temperatures since 1979 to 2012 shows that extreme land temperature will continue to rise, even after the global mean temperature stabilized.

Climate Central says that the dramatic increase in heat may have been triggered by widespread dry conditions in most regions of the Earth. Dry weather conditions hinders the land to reduce the environment's temperature through "sweating."

To learn more about U.S. heat waves, check out the video below.

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