Entomophobia is the phobia of insects or a specific type of insect. Irrational fear comes with the territory, but there are many more people that have buggy terrors without a full-blown phobia. Part of the fear stems from horror stories we hear growing up. You know, those urban legends that sound too horrific to be real.
So, are they rooted in actuality, or are they nothing more than tall tales? Our fearless pest control technicians have seen it all, and they’re sharing professional insight on the likelihood of your worst insect fears coming true.
Bugs Getting in Your Ears
This is probably the most common insect-related fear, and it’s also one of the most rational. The truth is bugs do find their way into people’s ear canals, usually while the person is sleeping. Doctors have studied why bugs do this and which ones are the worst offenders. The best guess is that the insect is looking for warmth and shelter, and an ear fits the bill.
A few years ago the South African Medical Journal conducted a small study and found that cockroaches were the most prominent ear dwellers followed by beetles. It’s rare, but it can happen. However, the urban legend of ants and other insects chewing their way into a person’s brain is completely false. Insects can’t get past the eardrum.
Insects Laying Eggs in Your Skin
Unfortunately there’s some truth to this one – but occurrences within the U.S. are almost nonexistent for some insects. There are a number of bugs that can burrow under the skin and others that lay eggs. One such insect is the screwworm, which is actually a fly. They lay their eggs in open wounds, and when the bugs hatch they eat on the flesh causing an infection. Scabies and jiggers are two more common insects that also lay their eggs in the skin.
But what about the spider egg in the skin story? Highly unlikely. Entomologists at the University of Illinois explained to National Geographic that spiders aren’t built to inject their eggs under the skin. They may be able to plaster them on top of the skin, but that wouldn’t make much sense.
Unknowingly Eating Insects
Eating insects is a common practice in some countries, but most Americans don’t like the thought of bugs in their mouth. That’s why many people were freaked out when they heard the average person consumes eight spiders a year while sleeping. Experts have debunked this myth saying that people who breath with their mouths open while sleeping are more likely to scare spiders off than invite them in.
The vast majority of us tense up whenever we see bees because of their tendency to sting. So the thought of crossing paths with killer bees is very scary notion. Killer bees, technically referred to as Africanized honey bees, are 100% real. They made their way to the United States in the 1990s and are most commonly found in Gulf Coast states. However, they aren’t as deadly as people think. Yes, they are more likely to sting than other bees, but they don’t just go around looking for a fight. Like other stinging insects, they don’t typically attack unless they feel threatened. So in other words, leave them alone, and they’ll leave you alone.
Being Swarmed by Insects
Fears of insect swarms are often rooted in claustrophobia, and even some entomologists say the idea gives them the heebie jeebies. Plenty of insect species swarm, but they don’t do so with the intention of attacking people. Typically swarms occur outdoors when the air is still, but it is possible for indoor swarms to form. Large swarms aren’t an everyday occurrence, however, just this past summer there was a swarm of beetles and grasshoppers in Texas that was so large it was picked up on weather radars.
By now you’re probably thinking about your pest control options. Vulcan Termite and Pest Control, Inc. can help Alabama residents keep killer bees at bay, put cockroaches in check and clear out the rest of the bugs that terrorize your home. Give us a call to discuss how we can create custom pest control treatments that address all your concerns.