High Line Plants Brought a Tough New Roach Species

By
Photo: Lyle Buss, Univ. of Florida/Courtesy shot

The High Line brought a unique new attraction to Manhattan's West Side when it opened in 2009, but it now turns out it brought something else unique too: a type of cockroach never before seen in the United States, that can survive freezing temperatures, "unlike the roaches that New York residents have known and hated for years," according to Rutgers Today. Two Rutgers scientists identified the bugs, known as Periplaneta japonica, after a High Line exterminator first spotted them in 2012. The scientists, Dominic Evangelista and Jessica Ware, said the bugs probably came from imported High Line plants, but posed little risk of a population explosion because of competition from the existing species. But Ware also said that "as the species has invaded Korea and China, there has been some confirmation that it does very well in cold climates," which sure makes it sound like a formidable little pest.