Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Grab your sandal, Florida has a new species of cockroach

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Any true Floridian knows that it’s not a question of if you’ll ever have to squish a cockroach with a shoe, it’s a question of when. And now, apparently, there’s a new species to splatter with whatever inanimate object is nearby.

It’s called a pale-bordered field cockroach and its name aptly describes its appearance. According to Tampa Bay Times environmental reporter Craig Pittman, the roach looks like a “chocolate-covered skateboard with a snazzy tan trim and a ruby-like jewel set in its leading edge.”

The guy who found it said it was pretty. The rest of Florida just says “eeek” and runs away screaming. Bug loathers from the Atlantic to the Gulf Coast are gearing up for extra nightmares now that there’s an extra bug.

But, before you go running for a shoe in preparation for some extra roach thumping, keep in mind this new buggy prefers the outdoors so it may not wind up crawling through your kitchen or, gulp, your bedroom.

And according to Pitman, the little dudes are actually good for the environment outside. The pale-bordered field cockroach, or Pseudomops septentrionalis, aids in the decomposition process – the “insect version of buzzards.”

The man who discovered the new-to-Florida roach is Marc C. Minno, a Florida entomologist. According to him, the insect may have been pushed north as a result of rising temperatures.

In any case, for those of us who are not bug-lovers, a new species of cockroach is never good news.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

Latest from Apolitical

Go to Top