Following Cockroach Photobomb, Could ‘The Talk’ Set Be Infested?

In a June 14 episode, viewers were quick to spot a cockroach crawling on the wall behind Sheryl Underwood, but an insect expert says there is probably no reason for alarm.
By Chris Gardner | The Hollywood Reporter |

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER - “Let’s get started with the latest mid-air meltdown by an unruly air flight passenger that is raising alarms about safety in the sky,” reported Sheryl Underwood on the June 14 episode of The Talk while reading from a Teleprompter. But viewers were quick to spot an unruly passenger over Underwood’s shoulder, which raised alarms about a possible insect issue on the set of the CBS talk show.

Eagle eyes were not required to see a giant cockroach crawling across the wall in full view on the brightly lit set. The roach’s debut on The Talkmanaged to pass with no media attention and only a few screen grabs of the moment posted on YouTube and Twitter. Doug Yanega, senior museum scientist of the Entomology Research Museum at UC Riverside, tells THR that seeing a lone roach on the set of a TV or film production is likely not an indication of an infestation or nearby horde of relatives.

“It’s an adult roach — blurry as it is, it clearly has its wings — and adult roaches can fly, quite well, and they typically do so at night when they’re most active. Because they fly, and because they’re attracted to lights at night, like most nocturnal insects, they will find their way into many places very easily. As such, seeing an adult American roach is vastly less of a concern than it would be if the roach was a nymph or a wingless species,” the insect expert tells THR, adding that the bugs often feel quite comfy in spaces like sets that can be dark and cool. “It could easily have been by itself, rather than some evil harbinger of a hidden horde.”

Even if the creepy crawler was likely an isolated incident on the set, it was sprayed as a preventative measure. Here’s hoping the Television Academy has an extermination plan in place when Underwood hosts the 48th annual Daytime Emmys Awards on June 25.


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