A swarm of cockroaches invaded a Greyhound bus in New York City on Friday 15 March, causing panic among passengers.

The driver was forced to pull over and evacuate the bus, with its 48 passengers fleeing in horror.

Moblie phone photos showed masses of cockroaches scuttling across seats and the floor of the vehicle.

According to the New York Daily News, the insects poured out of the air vents and dropped from the ceiling for at least 15 minutes after the bus left Atlantic City.

"The roaches came out of nowhere," Andy Rodriguez told Channel 4. "They were on the floor, they were falling from the ceiling."

The bus driver slammed on the brakes and pulled over to the side of the road. Another Greyhound bus picked up the passengers, who all received full refunds for the trip, a company spokesman said.

"We at Greyhound apologise for this inconvenience and have spoken with each passenger regarding this incident," Tim Stokes, a spokesman for a Greyhound, a unit of Scotland-based FirstGroup Plc, said in a statement.

"Currently, our team is investigating the situation and working to determine its cause," Stokes said.

Cockroaches are a very successful species as they eat almost anything, breed rapidly, adapt to a wide range of conditions and can easily spread from one place to another.

The insects carry food poisoning germs on their bodies and are responsible for the spread of dysentery and gastro-enteritis. They will feed on almost anything, including faecal matter.

Food contamination happens when insect droppings, cast-off skin and dead bodies come into contact with food, food preparation surfaces and utensils.

One of the most recent major bug infestations occurred last July in Naples, when a plague of large red cockroaches thrived in the city's warm weather and unhygienic conditions, according to health officials.

Sewers were sprayed with poison to exterminate the roaches, which were up to seven centimetres long.

The infestation has angered local residents about problems with waste disposal in the city.

Rubbish was being left out overnight, which was thought to be making the infestation worse.

  • The Insect Fear Film Festival celebrated its 30<sup>th anniversary in February this year. One of the featured films was War of the Coprophages from season 3 of The X-Files, which features killer cockroaches.