NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — The atmosphere was electric with excitement as two Giant Hissing Madagascar cockroaches, three times the size of ordinary cockroaches, left the starting gate of a six-foot long, Plexiglas “race track” for the 16th running of the famed New Jersey Cockroach Derby this afternoon.
The designated “Romney” cockroach broke away from the starting line swiftly while the “Obama” cockroach lagged behind for about ten seconds until halfway through the race when it made an effort to catch up. By then it was too late as the “Romney” cockroach surged across the finish line to the shouts of an audience of pest management professionals.
“I am not saying that the race can actually predict the outcome of the national elections,” said Leonard Douglen, executive director of the New Jersey Pest Management Association but in 2008, it was the Obama cockroach that won the race.”
The event was held at Noon during the 65th annual Clinic, a full day of seminars on various aspects of pest control that is sponsored by the Association and held on the Cook College campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick.
More than 600 pest management professionals attended lectures by some of the nation’s leading authorities. This year the topics were bed bugs, termites, small flies, and mosquitoes. The lectures address the latest scientific research on these and other topics.
“Most people do not associate science and pest control,” said Douglen, “but the work of our members has always involved a scientific knowledge of the biology and behavioral habits of insect and rodent pests. In addition, we have to know what products will secure the best results.”
The race was held in a large vendor’s tent featuring the latest technologies available to eliminate the many insect and rodent pests that affect homes, businesses, hospitals and other structures throughout New Jersey.
Founded in 1942, the New Jersey Pest Management Association is one of the oldest in the nation. It is affiliated with the National Pest Management Association. The NJPMA maintains a website at www.njpma.com