Insectophobia

I thought I was being creative with my title and making up a new term, but alas Google has set me straight.  “Entomophobia (also known as insectophobia) is a common fear of or aversion to insects and similar arthropods, and even other bugs.”  After my post about spiders in my bathroom I have been thinking back trying to find a clue about when these fears started.

I was fearless as a child.  I played with grasshoppers, crickets, worms, ladybugs,

elm bugs, roly poly bugs and butterflies all the time.  I still do with some, but others on my list above I have avoided touching for a long time.  When I was little you could always find me either one of two places.  If was I wasn’t curled up hiding somewhere reading, I was outside playing.  No fear of these insects, but even then I avoided spiders most of the time.  I held my ex-brother-in laws tarantula spider once, feeling all those legs crawling on my arm was ugh, that once was enough.

I think my intense aversion for specific insects really started when my youngest son was still a baby.  Not a new born but still small enough to fit in his infant car seat and still have room for growth.  We were stationed in the Azores, little islands in the middle of the ocean, and living in a house in the local town.  It was a huge house, two floors with kitchens on both floors, enough room for two families.  But not enough room for me, my babies and bugs.  I just got home from somewhere (can’t remember where my husband was), and as was my habit I went straight to the kitchen to put on some water to boil.  I left my son in his car seat, and set it on the floor.  That is when I saw the biggest tree roach I had ever seen, crawling across the floor towards my son.  The sight of that bug triggered something in me and Super mom went into action.  I grabbed the car seat and put it up on the table and then I grabbed that can of Raid.  I chased that bug all over the kitchen spraying as I went saying “You can’t have my baby!!”  At about that time my husband came in the kitchen and just about died laughing as he watched me running around with that spray can.  I sprayed so much raid I didn’t see a bug in our kitchen for months.

Another time I killed a spider in an unusual way was during a biology lab in college.  We had an assignment as a class to go out in the field behind the school and find three insects and put them in specimen jars.  We were to bring them back to class and then we were going to put them in a chemical to preserve them for studying.  I would never have included a spider in my three choices, but somehow after we got back to class I found a large green spider in one of my containers, it was not the bug that I thought I caught.  The professor asked if there were any unusual insects and I told her yes I have a large green spider.   She asked me to bring it to her desk, after looking at it she decided to use it as the example on how to put the chemical in the jars.  Now this spider was a beautiful color of green.  She looked at it and said “You may have found a new species.”  She was shaking the jar to try to get the spider off the lid when some how the partially opened jar fell out of her hand and landed on the floor.  All I could hear as I was standing there was a splat.  Apparently, that spider was very squishy, because it didn’t survive the fall so technically I didn’t kill the spider, but I was supposed too if I could have completed the lab.  Since she dropped it, I still got an A on my part of the lab.   To this day I still don’t know if I really found a new species since it splatted and there wasn’t enough left to study.

I have had many other run-ins with insects, I was visiting my sister one time when I found an unexpected guest on my towel after my shower.  Without my glasses I am extremely blind so I could not tell what exactly the little guest was, just that it was moving around on my towel and I didn’t want it there.  Now I am usually a squealer when confronted with the unexpected but my nephew was there and he was a police officer and I knew if I squealed he would come running, see something unexpected and then turn around and run the other way.  So I did the next best thing, I shook that towel as hard as I could and knocked whatever it was into the toilet.  I had it flushed before I thought about grabbing my glasses to see what it was…I think it was a scorpion.

As I get older, I am trying to fight my natural inclination to flee and call my husband for help.  However, as I think about it, I am so independent in most areas of my life.  Maybe, this fear is here for a reason.  Maybe I am supposed to have it so that I am not so independent that I never ask my husband for help.  I think the next time I see an unwanted insect I am going to give in and squeal a little and ask my husband to grab his shoe quickly.

Photo Credits:

http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/field_cricket.htm

http://www.thinkingfountain.org/w/worms/worms/worms.html

http://lafayettecommunitygarden.org/tag/tips/

http://cisr.ucr.edu/elm_leaf_beetle.html

http://heidikins.com/2011/03/17/in-which-i-compare-myself-to-a-bug-and-an-oversized-rodent/

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