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Are the Cockroaches Coming for Our Dicks?

According to a very well-circulated meme, penises are suitable homes for cockroaches and it’s ‘totally normal’ for 5 to 10 of them to live there

Perhaps recently, you’ve seen a little meme going around Instagram that looks like a screenshot of a Google search. “Can cockroaches live in your penis?” the inquiry asks. “Absolutely! It’s totally normal, too. Usually over the course of a year, 5-10 cockroaches will crawl into your penis hole while you are asleep (this is how they got the name ‘cock’ roach) and you won’t notice a thing,” the top result confidently states. 

It’s unclear who exactly made this image or why, but one post featuring it from @shizzy.biscuits has over 22,000 likes, and presumably, there are even more re-posts of it out there. Naturally, having seen such an image, many have decided to Google the prompt themselves to confirm whether it’s true. As such, “cockroaches in penis” is now a breakout Google Trend

This is why I’m here today. 

That said, I’m pleased to report that there’s no real evidence of anyone reporting on this alleged cockroach habit. Most likely, the screenshot was doctored to get a rise out of people, and riff off that oft-repeated urban legend that you eat a handful of spiders in your sleep each year. Unfortunately for me, coming to this conclusion first led me to a Reddit post from eight years ago featuring a gallery of images of a man sticking his erect penis and balls into a drain and retrieving it covered in cockroaches. They appear to bite him, as he’s covered in streaks of blood. As a final devastating touch, it looks like he also has streaks of shit on him and is leaking pre-cum throughout the photos. I’m sorry that I even had to describe this, and that you’re here reading it now. 

Anyway, back to the most important question here: Can a cockroach live in your penis? The fact that this has never been seriously explored should suggest that the answer is no. And by the grace of god, what we know about cockroaches confirms this — according to existing evidence, cockroaches apparently find us just as gross and threatening as we find them. 

Of course, cockroaches aren’t actually capable of feeling disgust as we know it, but they do have traits of self-preservation. According to pest-control blogs, they tend to avoid humans. More significantly, per a 2013 study from researchers at North Carolina State University, they’re meticulous about self-grooming. Without regularly cleaning their antennae, they’re unable to properly navigate their surroundings. Staying “clean” is therefore essential to their survival. 

For that reason, they would definitely avoid crawling into a penis hole. At minimum, there’s bodily oils and secretions down there that a cockroach wouldn’t want on them. And think about it, what fucking business does a cockroach have in your penis, anyway? There’s nothing it wants down there!

Michael Culshaw-Maurer, an insect ecologist, confirms that it’s indeed extremely unlikely for cockroaches to move in down there, but there have been rare instances of fly larvae causing penile myiasis (a fancy word for maggot infestation). As for cockroaches, though, it’s “just not feasible,” he explains. “They like damp places, but they’re generally pretty big, even at the nymphal stages, and they need food and oxygen.”

A cockroach probably would eat your dick if it was the only thing around for it (cockroaches will eat anything, even cardboard), but it’s definitely not crawling up your urethra for no reason. 

And finally, cockroaches aren’t called cockroaches because of any affiliation with cocks. The name comes from the Spanish word for them, cucaracha. Now please stop Googling anything about penises and bugs. My editors will see that it’s trending, and I will have to write about it.