Cockroaches and Entomophobia

Why the ”ick” factor??
Location: NYC
March 9, 2011 8:39 pm
I am both fascinated and terrified of bugs. Your site has really increased my tolerance and awe of the insect world. I love reading about them, finding them but not touching them! I never fail to find myself ”itchy” whenever I am on your site- but I always come back to look and learn some more. All bugs are escorted out of my house now with the glass on magazine method. There is one exception to that rule and I must confess it to you- the nyc waterbug. My 6 foot, chiseled chinned husband is reduced to a squealing little girl at the sight of them and even the cat runs the other way. Why do these bugs send us into such hysteria? We don’t see them often in our home but they are regulars in the NYC underworld of the subway system. I have seen one of them part a crowd of hundreds of hardened, rush hour commuters. Will you speak to this atavistic, gut reaction to a creepy crawly water bug please?
Again, I hope to grow ever more tolerant of the beloved bug world.
Signature: The Lovely Mrs. Phillips


Dear The Lovely Mrs. Phillips,
We are happy to hear that your tolerance level for the lower beasts has increased because of your exposure to our website.  With regards to the “Ick” factor and entomophobia, we can only deduce that our collective unconsciousness has been affected by negative media coverage of Cockroaches.  The NYC Waterbug is a Cockroach.  The few species of Cockroaches that infest human homes can be very prolific and they are rarely found singly.  Pop culture shows like Fear Factor have also contributed to the entomophobia zeitgeist, and as a culture we have become conditioned to associate Cockroaches with filth.

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