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 Post subject: Getting over Fear of Insects
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:40 am 
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Kale Wreath
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Location: Vancouver
So. I love animals, and I generally try to be a tolerant creature of other creatures, but I just can't handle insects. I refrain from killing them unless they are in my apartment, but if I didn't kill them, I feel like I would never be able to sleep again in the same place. But at the same time, killing anything really upsets me, so I'm in this mixed-up state of revulsion, fear and sadness. Ladybugs are pretty much the only bugs I can tolerate, and they still kind of freak me out when they fly. But I don't want to feel this way, I feel like it makes me a hypocrite and it's ethically wrong. And completely irrational.

So I'm wondering, have any of you gotten over your fear of insects? If so, how did you do it? Any suggestions for me? Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Getting over Fear of Insects
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:05 am 
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Discovered unobtainium
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Get a little vacuum, like a Dust Buster or something. Zap up the icky bugs then empty them outside. It is probably stressful for them, but after accidentally killing some trying to pick them up, this is the better solution. Usually they happily hop off to wherever it is they go.

For huge, honking spiders that won't be dust busted up, I take the very mature approach of calling my dad. He can very gently relocate any creepy crawly.

Before, I'd get my roommate to do it. Say what you will about feminism, but I have few issues happily considering bug removal "men's work."

Oh, also, I talk to them. I got a big spider out of my bathtub yesterday. I had to pick it up because it was big, so I talked to it and told it I was sorry to disturb it but he would be happier outside. This helped anthropomorphize him enough for me to deal. If I hadn't really wanted to take a shower, I would have waited until my dad was home. I am ashamed to saw that I briefly considered letting him go down the drain. This horrified me into touching him.

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Last edited by lavawitch on Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting over Fear of Insects
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:07 am 
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Baking In The Flavor
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I was afraid of arachnids for years (heightened after a particularly horrifying experience of my dad making me touch one in the effort to "get me over it"). A small spider in the middle of the floor would have me cowering in a corner, shrieking to be rescued.

And now... Now I can scoop up a spider and pop it outdoors without so much as a quiver. I don't really know how it happened, other than I lived on my own and had to deal with them myself rather than relying on a roommate.

Also, any initial fear as I scoop one up into a bowl and walk it outside is much better than the crunching sound when they get squished. I cannot abide that crunching.

Are you only afraid of the flying insects or do the crawling ones and/or arachnids upset you too? I think the fear of bugs flying at people's heads is subtly different than a blanket fear of all creepy crawlers.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting over Fear of Insects
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:12 am 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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I usually have a rule for my house: any insect that will eat stuff or bite me dies (moths, bad spiders in my bookshelves, etc), and any insect that helps stays as long as it is not in the way (spider in a corner of shower ceiling, etc). If it is a harmless bug but doesn't have a place in my house, I try to capture it and put it outside. Unless my dog or cat eats it first. I live in an old house, so any help I can get from the spiders in the way of eating the bad bugs, I take.

As far as fear of bugs goes, have you thought about getting a really good insect guide? Sometimes learning about what you are afraid of can help. As gross as some of the bugs in this book look, very few of them can do anything to hurt you. Is there somewhere near where you live where you can take a walk (park, nature center, etc) and actually seek out the bugs that are native to your area? Putting the bugs into a hunting (for identification purposes, not insecticide) context might help you desensitize yourself to them.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting over Fear of Insects
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:13 am 
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Kale Wreath
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Location: Vancouver
Spiders freak me out a lot. I think it's the way they move. I'm getting better about it though - it used to be all spiders no matter how small, and now it's just the larger ones. Cockroaches used to bother me less, but the giant mutant fast-moving ones here in Japan scare the hell out of me.

I've lived on my own for a little while and had to deal with them, but it doesn't seem to be getting better. I still start shaking and twitching, even if I'm alone and have to deal with them myself. And then it screws up my whole evening and I have a hard time sleeping. Ugh, this is so stupid.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting over Fear of Insects
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:18 am 
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Should Write a Goddam Book Already
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lavawitch wrote:
Oh, also, I talk to them. I got a big spider out of my bathtub yesterday. I had to pick it up because it was big, so I talked to it and told it I was sorry to disturb it but he would be happier outside. This helped anthropomorphize him enough for me to deal. If I hadn't really wanted to take a shower, I would have waited until my dad was home. I am ashamed to saw that I briefly considered letting him go down the drain. This horrified me into touching him.


Yes! Besides learning about them, anthropomorphising them helps loads too!

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 Post subject: Re: Getting over Fear of Insects
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:30 am 
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Baking In The Flavor
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crowderpea wrote:
lavawitch wrote:
Oh, also, I talk to them. I got a big spider out of my bathtub yesterday. I had to pick it up because it was big, so I talked to it and told it I was sorry to disturb it but he would be happier outside. This helped anthropomorphize him enough for me to deal. If I hadn't really wanted to take a shower, I would have waited until my dad was home. I am ashamed to saw that I briefly considered letting him go down the drain. This horrified me into touching him.


Yes! Besides learning about them, anthropomorphising them helps loads too!


I think this is worth a shot, I really do.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting over Fear of Insects
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:31 am 
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Naked Under Apron
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I have an irrational fear of incests too. Most bugs, I try to relocate outside.
Spiders... they move too fast and freak me out. I usually end up swatting them and feeling awful afterwards.
Roaches and flies must die. I hate that it has to be that way, but they carry disease and they multiply quickly. To keep from having to deal with them, I actively roach and fly proof my house. They very seldom get in here. If I have to kill one, I feel dirty and guilty, and I can't shake that feeling for the rest of the day. Sometimes, I'll even have nightmares about them attacking me.
I have a phobia of stinging insects like bees and wasps. I'd run out into traffic before I let one near me (working on getting that fear under control).
The only bug that I am not afraid of are dragon flies. They are really beautiful and they remind me of faeries.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting over Fear of Insects
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:42 am 
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My old house used to have obscenely large centipedes, and I would lose so much sleep after seeing one. I think I reached a turning point when I found one on the wall of my shower and I REALLY needed to get clean, so I just sucked it up and showered with the centipede (I'm too afraid of them to touch or kill them). It was the most terrifying 5 minutes of my life, but since that intimate experience I've been on better terms with them.

How do y'all deal with ticks? I always kill them bc I'm afraid of the diseases they carry, but feel a little guilty about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting over Fear of Insects
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:55 am 
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Naked Under Apron
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setsmuffinsfree wrote:
My old house used to have obscenely large centipedes, and I would lose so much sleep after seeing one. I think I reached a turning point when I found one on the wall of my shower and I REALLY needed to get clean, so I just sucked it up and showered with the centipede (I'm too afraid of them to touch or kill them). It was the most terrifying 5 minutes of my life, but since that intimate experience I've been on better terms with them.

How do y'all deal with ticks? I always kill them bc I'm afraid of the diseases they carry, but feel a little guilty about it.

Ticks are dangerous for your hairy animals (Dogs, Cats, etc.) and for children. That is a tricky problem. If I find one on my dog or my little niece, that tick is going to die. The best thing is prevention. Vacuum a lot if you have carpet, and keep your upholstery neurotically clean.

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