Metamorphosis: Philadelphia street horrified as cockroaches invade

(Reuters) – Residents of a Philadelphia street were horrified when thousands of cockroaches emerged from a sewer drain, forming a swarm so big that it covered the street at one stage, according to city officials and local media on Tuesday.

“There were thousands of them,” resident Pat Wall told NBC10 television of the Sunday-night incident. “It was a horror story that I couldn’t believe I was living.”

A small task force of city workers on Tuesday found the source of the infestation, a drain clogged with refuse, said John DiGiulio, a spokesman for the Philadelphia Water Department. That may have contributed to the swarming in the city’s riverfront Bridesburg neighborhood, he said.

Roaches are a fact of life all over the city, and the creatures thrive in warm, moist environments, DiGiulio said.

“It’s unfortunate but they do live in those type of environments,” he said. “It could have been a disturbance or anything to make them come out.”

Sewers are normally cleaned out every few months by the water department and more frequently when a complaint is received, according to DiGiulio.

Health department workers will also bait the sewer line in an effort to fight the bugs.

Reporting by Taylor Harris in New York; editing by Frank McGurty and David Gregorio

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Cheesemaker kicks up a stink over vanishing prize-winning cheddar

LONDON (Reuters) – A British cheesemaker has offered a 500 pound ($652) reward for the recovery of 40 kilograms of prize-winning cheddar stolen from an agricultural show in south-west England.

The award-winning cheddar and the reserve champion, each weighing 20 kilograms, were allegedly stolen on Saturday after being left in a marquee in Yeovil, not far from the village of Cheddar, after which the world-renowned cheese is named.

The two blocks disappeared along with the certificates that prove their prize-winning quality which could raise their value.

“Such a quantity of prize-winning cheese would retail (at) between five hundred to six hundred pounds. But with their certificates, they could be worth thousands,” Rich Clothier, the managing director at Wyke Farms, told Reuters.

“Prize-winning cheese, along with a certificate like this would be very famous all around the world.”

Staff at Wyke Farms, which exports cheese to 160 countries including America and France, were devastated over the missing cheese and feared whoever took it could try to ship it abroad.

Because of the unwieldy weight and bulk of the two cheeses, Clothier said that the theft could have been planned.

“There were hundreds of cheeses in the marquee but only two blocks were stolen,” he said.

“They were big blocks, about the size of a small suitcase. It’s not as if they can be hidden in a handbag or a jumper.”

Reporting by Luke Bridges; editing by Alistair Smout and Alexander Smith

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