This is the second time recently that I’ve heard a version of this story, so I thought I’d run it by the Crack Researchers: when one deals a flattening-style death to everyone’s favorite vermin, the cockroach, does it really “spread their eggs around” in some nefarious and disgusting fashion? The first time I heard this was a straightforward “step on it and then you’ll be dragging eggs around as you walk”, but today’s informant sounded as if they’d been told that a cloud of eggs would be released in a sort of buggy up-yours gesture. What’s the truth/science behind this? I certainly don’t feel like letting the little bastards get away once I’ve seen them if I can at all help it, after all…
First of all, cockroaches have two sexes. So if you squash a male, there’s absolutely no chance that you’d be “spreading eggs around”. Secondly, cockroach eggs are encased in an egg case or oothecae. This page has pictures of various species of roaches and their egg cases. Note the relative size of the egg case compared to the adult. The female cockroach will usually stick this in some secluded place. There’s an off chance that you’ll encounter a female that is still carrying her egg case, looking for a good spot to hide it. Even if you sqaush one of these, the eggs won’t be released in a cloud nor would you be dragging the eggs around.
It’s a crock of s**t.
Cockroaches produce eggs in a large case known as an ootheca, not one by one. The ootheca is comparatively huge.
Have a look here (http://www.geocities.com/brisbane_hoppers/images/Cockro17.jpg ). That’s a huge American cockroach/palmetto bug type roach, and that tan thing hanging out the back is the ootheca that contains the eggs.
This picture shows the ootheca of a German cockroach, and it is even bigger relative to the size of the animal. (http://www.protechtpc.com/germancockroach.jpg)
The eggs aren’t able to hatch until well after they are sealed in the ootheca, and if the ootheca is broken the eggs won’t survive to hatch since it acts as an incubator. What that means is that you can’t spread the eggs around.
For the individual eggs to spread the ootheca would need to be broken killing the eggs. And of course you aren’t going to be dragging an intact ootheca around as you walk without noticing it, the damn thing is the length of the top joint of you little finger and ¼ as fat.
So rest easy, this is all an urban legend on par with the earwigs eggs in the ear or the maggots hatching on someone’s tongue.
I know this is an important topic, but,
This thread reminded me of something that happened at work…I stepped on a spider. When I passed the same spot seconds later , I saw what I assume were baby spiders crawling away from the crushed remains. I was almost prompted to ask the this message board if spiders give birth to live spiders , but wasn’t sure how to phrase it in a way that made sense. If anyone can make sense of what I’m wondering about , please respond.
This thread reminded me of something that happened at work…I stepped on a spider. When I passed the same spot seconds later , I saw what I assume were baby spiders crawling away from the crushed remains. I was almost prompted to ask this message board if spiders give birth to live spiders , but wasn’t sure how to phrase it in a way that made sense. If anyone can make sense of what I’m wondering about , please respond.
Spiders hatch from eggs, so no live births from the mother. What you probably saw was a mother spider carrying the little’uns around. I don’t know if this is common spider behavior, or if only select species do it, but it must be fairly common, as I’ve seen it several times.
Firstly , I apologize for the almost double-post above. (They’re not exactly alike - see if you can find the difference.)
Thanks , jk1245 for the info - but unless someone can reassure me that the spiders in your link are cute , smiling cartoon characters I’m too easily grossed-out to check them out. (Same for the links in the other posts above - not for this old man!) After I got the phrase “spider eggs” in my mind , I remembered the Urban Legends about rumors of spider eggs contaminating foodstuffs. If only I remembered sooner before showing my ignorance.