A while back I got into a social media disagreement with someone regarding cockroaches. Specifically, whether or not we have them in Montana. I was under the impression we do not. She was certain we do. My opinion has now changed.

Over the weekend, I saw this post on Facebook, a video that shows what appears to be cockroaches (a lot of them) crawling around underneath a table at the food court in Rimrock Mall. Holy gross.

I reached out to Dr. Michael Ivie, Associate Professor of Entomology at MSU Bozeman to get some hard facts on cockroaches. He said:

  • Cockroaches do exist in Montana, but are not a native species.
  • They are generally knocked out by Montana's low humidity, especially around January/February.
  • Missoula and the Flathead area are typically hot spots for cockroaches in Montana, although Dr. Ivie mentioned reports of them being spotted in just about every town around the state.
  • He has heard reports of cockroach discoveries in some Montana restaurants and apartment buildings, usually, apartment complexes that use a boiler system for heat. The roaches like the humidity of those environments.
  • Since they are non-native, they are relatively easy to eradicate in Montana. Kill them all at once, and you'll probably be okay for a while.

Daron Olson, Marketing Director at Rimrock Mall, said that he could not confirm the presence of cockroaches in the food court. He also confirmed that the mall has a procedure for pest control and that they will be expediting their next treatment to ensure there is no issue.

Or, you could eat them.