NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – You may not want to read this before mealtime.
It turns out all of those cockroaches and waterbugs you’ve seen scurrying around New York City are playing a significant role in taming another nuisance: Garbage.
“This isn’t just a silly fact,” said researcher Dr. Elsa Youngsteadt. “This highlights a very real service that these arthropods provide. They effectively dispose of our trash for us.”
Youngsteadt is a research associate with North Carolina State University, which conducted a study on the impact of arthropods – such as roaches, waterbugs, millipedes, and ants – in disposing of garbage.
“We calculate that the arthropods on medians down the Broadway/West Street corridor alone could consume more than 2,100 pounds of discarded junk food, the equivalent of 60,000 hot dogs, every year – assuming they take a break in the winter,” Youngsteadt said.