The mid August heat wave in New York City was accompanied by sightings of American Cockroaches flying through the air. We commonly think of the large American Cockroaches as running on the ground in basements, under refrigerators under cabinets and hiding in crawl spaces. However, adults have wings and are capable of flight. The warm weather increases their propensity to fly. Thus the increased sightings of flying cockroaches by NYC residents.
In their southern range where American Cockroaches are known colloquially as “Palmetto Bugs” flight is not uncommon among outdoor populations in summer months. Cockroaches are not robust flyers, but they do fly to escape predators and to disperse to nearby locations. Their flight is powered by the hindwing, similar to flight in the locust.