Why do cockroaches cause scary and disgusting feelings?

Is the fear of cockroaches in humans a purely natural product or a nurtured emotion?

An uninvited guest doesn't know where to fly until you're busy with your own business or cleaning up your bathroom. Only a few of us will not be startled in disgust or flee from a terrifying cockroach.

And why should we not be so afraid of cockroaches?

Cockroaches are often large, smooth, and thrive in places that most of us are uncomfortable with: dark, wet areas in our home.

Picture 1 of Why do cockroaches cause scary and disgusting feelings?
Cockroaches have existed since the time of the dinosaurs. (Image: Getty Images).

Cockroaches have existed since the time of the dinosaurs. Visible resilience is another shell for their fears: there is evidence that cockroaches can survive even in fallout.

However, our response to them is unreasonable, in terms of the danger that cockroaches pose to human health, according to University of Wyoming ecology professor Jeffrey Lockwood.

Lockwood is also the author of The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe, and Love Insects . Although non-entomologists can only circle the first two verbs in the title of the book, Lockwood says that our aversion to insects is partly due to upbringing. rather than a product of nature.

"Young children tend to approach and observe insects closely , " Time quoted Lockwood as a whole. However, growing up in the US, where insects are seen as undesirable annoyance in the best view, and are carriers of rebellious pathogens in the worst view, most children quickly learn Being told, "bugs" are thugs to be crushed or crushed.

Picture 2 of Why do cockroaches cause scary and disgusting feelings?
There are about 4,600 species of cockroaches all over the world. (Photo: PestCtrl).

It is not difficult to prove the idea that, in some ways, fear is something to be learned. Before Stephen King's It (a famous Stephen King's horror novel published in 1986) appeared, clowns were almost not on the chart in lists of common fears. And today we don't have to worry much about quicksand, while 50 years ago many Americans were wary of quicksand when walking in the woods.

But while our fear of cockroaches may exceed the risk they pose, Lockwood says it's not entirely unreasonable for us not to like them.

According to Lockwood, there are about 4,600 species of cockroaches worldwide, some of which contain allergens, including those that cause asthma. Cockroaches can also transport disease-causing bacteria, although the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say there is little evidence of a link between cockroaches and disease outbreaks.

Speaking of insects that can hurt you, the rankings of cockroaches are quite low. "You can argue, mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals on the planet apart from humans. But of course we don't react to mosquitoes the way we do with cockroaches , " according to Lockwood.

So, what do cockroaches make us very scared?

Many characteristics of cockroaches cause what Lockwood calls disgusting reflexes in our innate brains . "Fear and disgust are two common human negative emotions. One is an immediate danger sign and the other is a sign of potential disease or contamination , " he explained. 

If those two emotions form a Venn diagram, the cockroaches will chatter inside the overlapping area. "Cockroaches are oily and oily, which is a real sign of disgust. Also, if you step on a cockroach there is a crunchy crunch - it is something that creates disgust, accompanied by the smell of water. Transient filthy urinary " . Yes, the stinking cockroach literally: The cockroach body contains uric acid, the main component of human urine.

When many winged insects are very fast, then for their size, perhaps cockroaches are the fastest terrestrial creature on Earth. One experiment recorded an American cockroach traveling at a speed of 5.6 km / h (equivalent to an adult running faster than 320 km / h). Just like in horror movies, where vampires cross the room in an instant, cockroaches startle us with supernatural agility, Lockwood said.

Add to that the stealth of cockroaches - its desire to avoid being detected by us, even if it invades our most private space. You have a creature that carries a long list of traits that make people uncomfortable.

"I doubt the idea that people have innate fears. But there are certainly some things we will learn to fear them  more easily  (other things), and cockroaches are one of them because of them. touch on all these trends ".

On the contrary, it is difficult to convince people to be afraid of little rabbits or puppies even if in the future we know that both can spread terrible diseases.

Knowing all this may not make much difference the next time a cockroach chases you when you're caught off guard.

Anyway, hopefully the above knowledge will help you stay calm while waiting for the "cockroach exterminator" to appear.

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