Tag Archives: Bugs

Why Are People So Afraid Of Insects And Spiders?

Why Are People So Afraid Of Insects And Spiders

According to the diagnostic manual of mental disorders, people who suffer from pathological fears of spiders and insects have what is referred to as “entomophobia.” Of course people can be afraid of creepy-crawlies without having a full-blown pathological fear of creepy bugs. It is estimated that twenty five percent of the general population actively fear spiders and insects. So what is it about bugs that makes them so scary to so many people?

One reason bugs are so scary is because many bugs actually can harm you. For example, mosquitoes cause more human deaths than any other animal. However, most people are not afraid of mosquitoes as much as, say, tarantulas. Researchers believe that humans evolved the fear of spiders, insects, and snakes in order to avoid potentially dangerous encounters with these creatures. After all, many snakes and spiders possess venom that can harm humans. Also, simply being bitten by a harmless spider can be enough to cause an infection, sometimes fatal, such as necrotizing fasciitis.

Also, people do not fear certain arthropods, such as spiders, because they pose the same sort of threats as lions and bears. We don’t think that bugs can overpower and kill us like other larger and aggressive animals. Instead our fear of bugs is closely related to the feeling of disgust. Researchers studying how disgust and fear are related use the term “rejection response” to describe the human tendency to keep something unfamiliar, and/or disgusting, far away from us. Much like how we are disgusted by feces and rotting food due to their potential to make us sick, we are also disgusted and avoid bugs for their potential to make us ill. Cockroaches, for example, are one of the most feared arthropods, and for good reason, they are disgusting. It is likely that we find cockroaches more disgusting and fear inspiring than most other bugs because cockroaches actually can spread disease due to their love of rotten food, among other reasons.

Lastly, people may fear bugs because they look so different from us. Humans and bugs do not share a close evolutionary bond, which makes many bugs appear otherworldly. In addition to their alien appearance, bugs can also scare us when we witness them operating in large swarms or colonies. The reason for this, according to some researchers, is because seeing a large amount of bugs in one place can overwhelm the human psyche and can damage the highly valued human beliefs regarding individuality. Seeing a swarm of locusts all working together can serve to undermine a person’s belief about what they can accomplish on their own. This particular theory was born out of a specific school of psychoanalysis, so this way of thinking about fear is not as common as most.

Obviously people want to stay clean and free of disease, and when we are in our homes we don’t expect intruders that may compromise our health and cleanliness. So naturally, seeing insects in your home can be quite distressing since your home is the one place where you don’t want to see potential threats to your health. In any case, bugs are here to stay, and they do much more harm than good, except for cockroaches of course.

Do you have a pathological fear of spiders and/or insects? If you do, what method, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, do you use to reduce your fear, if any?

A Colorectal Surgeons Love for Odd Bugs

A prominent colorectal surgeon named Dr Francis Seow-Choen is already fascinated with bugs of the parasitic sort found in the human gastrointestinal system.  However, he grew up fascinating over other types of creep-crawlies–Stick and Leaf Insects.

The surgeon has just completed his fourth and most comprehensive book covering the vast species of these types of insects.  So comprehensive in fact that the doctor dedicated twenty years of his life to studying the species found in his book, and the book itself took three years to complete.  His book looks extensively at fifty-two different and new species of leaf and stick insects located in Borneo.  Even the director of Natural History Publications of Borneo has found the doctors book to be a major advancement in entomological science.

What makes the good doctors discoveries so unique to bug-science is that finding these particular species of bugs is incredibly dangerous as locating them for study normally involves spending several days and nights in the harsh south east Asian jungles.  Also, stick and bug insects are, as you would assume, very difficult to find in the wild, as these bugs are known for their evolutionarily advanced forms of camouflage.  The doctor has risked his life in the harsh and dangerous wilderness to indulge his love for these unique bugs, or, just maybe, he needs a break from examining people’s rectums, you make your own call.

Do you have a labor of love similar to this? What is it?

Bugs, good for your body?

Bugs, good for your body?

According to a new study, a certain gut bacteria may actually help with your body fat but also may be able to help manage your cholesterol and triglycerides. Bugs in your intestines? Why not; I’m sure we all put much worse into our bodies. However this is the first ever study to provide proof that gut bugs, ie: bacteria are actually linked to good cholesterol. While it may be too early to prescribe these gut bugs as probiotic supplements to help with heart disease, there is growing evidence of the major benefits. Not only are they good and help support digestion, gut bugs will also help with immune system functions and produce vitamins for your body to digest. Gut bugs also produce an anti-inflammatory compound that may reduce swelling and pain in one of the most natural ways possible.

Over all, the researchers who worked on the study were able to find 34 different types of gut bugs that could help not only with good cholesterol but also help to keep a person’s BMI in check.

Most people don’t like the idea of all those critters floating around in their intestines, but hey, anything to stay healthy, Right?

For more information on gut bugs, click here

Caring For Your Workplace: How to Keep Your Offices Clean and Clear of Bugs

Keep your office pest-freeBe honest: when you hear the words “pest control,” doesn’t your mind immediately jump to your home? It is okay if it does: that’s where the focus lies for most of us. It is important, though, that you also put in some effort to keep your workplace as clean and pest free as possible. After all, the last thing you want is for a pest to hitch a ride home from work, right? So what do you do?

Getting Rid of Temptation

How often do you choose to eat lunch at your desk instead of going out? How often do you keep hot beverages nearby for sipping during the day? Do you keep tea bags or packets of hot chocolate or apple cider in your desk? Stop it.

Even if you bring your lunch from home, get away from your desk at lunchtime. Take your meal to the break room or even out of the building altogether. If the weather is cooperating, take it to a nearby park.

Instead of keeping tea bags, packets of hot chocolate or cider in your desk, bring them into work with you each day and keep them in a sealed Ziploc bag in your purse, briefcase or lunch bag. If you simply must keep a variety on hand, make sure they are sealed in an airtight container (sandwich bags, Tupperware type containers, etc.—no cardboard).

Clean Every Day

It sounds tedious but if you clean up your workspace every day, you’ll find that the task gets easier over time until it takes just a few minutes each afternoon before you leave. Even better, clean things during the day:

  • Put files and office supplies away as soon as you’re done using them.
  • Keep the clutter to a minimum; use digital reminders instead of scribbled notes.
  • Take your shredding and recycling out every afternoon.

If you snack at your desk, use compressed air to blow the crumbs out of your computer keyboard or laptop each afternoon and make sure you’re wiping down the desk before you leave. A quick swipe with the vacuum or carpet sweeper is also a good idea if you’ve been particularly messy.

If You Are in Charge

If you are the business’s owner, you’re going to have to take some extra steps to keep the space pest and bug free. Here are a few things that you can do:

Set up strict break room rules: used dishes need to be washed right away and food should not be left out unattended.

Ask employees to use the break room trash can for any food-based trash they might have and then have that trash taken out every day. If you don’t have a break room, ask them to take the food-based trash out to your dumpster or to an outdoor trash can to prevent pests from sensing it during the evening and night.

Hire a cleaning crew to come in at least once a week to do a thorough scrubbing of the workplace. Make sure to hire a cleaning crew that uses only environmentally responsible cleaning methods.

Hire a professional pest control expert to come in and treat the space so that pests won’t even be tempted to forage within the building. It is important that an expert treat the building for pests both inside and outside. Treating the outside of the building can keep the pests from being tempted to explore the inside.