• Roaches taking over Tulsa: What can be done? A FOX23 investigation

    By: Janna Clark


    TULSA, Okla. -  

    Quick Facts:

    • Tulsa neighbors complained to FOX23 about roach infestations
    • FOX23's Janna Clark started digging into the cause


    Cockroaches are crawling all over Tulsa while people sleep.  

    FOX23’s Janna Clark went out after dark to check out complaints she’s gotten about the bugs.

    Clark took a flashlight and wore a headlamp and went to midtown and south Tulsa to see if she could find the cockroaches people complained about and spotted them everywhere.

    She also found out if you kill them it could make the problem worse.

    Neighbors who live near Brookside told FOX23 they're seeing the bugs too.

    “Yeah they're everywhere. What's the deal? I have no idea. They’re sicking me out,” one neighbor said.

    Residents in south and midtown Tulsa say they’re concerned the pests will get into their homes.

    Clark noticed giant cockroaches congregating near storm water drains, crawling in and out.

    “These cockroaches are like any other. They're going after moisture. (That) big guy is a wood cockroach,” Brian Jervis with OSU’s Extension Center said.

    Jervis said wood cockroaches look like a house roach but they're slightly flatter. They typically live in the dark, moist confines of the sewer system during the day and scurry out at night to feed on stuff that's decomposing.

    Take a look at some of what Clark found in the video below:

    Jervis said what people are seeing now is more than normal. He blames the hot, wet weather.  And when it dries up he said so will the roaches.

    But before it gets better, he said it'll get worse. Because once the roaches start to die, they become a food source for the remaining population.

    “Reproduce more and more before long we're going to have, I don't want to say explosion, but more than we have now,” he said.

    But he said you don’t have to worry about these outdoor roaches getting inside and infesting your home.

    “They're getting in by accident and won't survive long in the house. It’s too dry,” he said.

    He warned about putting bait around the house to try to kill them, saying doing that will actually attract more.

    “From their dead carcasses, coming and feeding on them,” he said.

    FOX23 talked to city officials, who are not worried about it. They said nature will take its course.  Even though they look nasty, Jervis said, they're not harmful in any way.


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