Apiphobia, mottephobia, spheksophobia. What do these three have in common? They are the names of the three main insect fears, fear of bees, moths and wasps. Why are so many people scared of insects, how important are insects to the eco system and how can we help them?
Why are people afraid of them?
Now it may be as simple as, they have had a bad experience with them. I think everyone has had a bug jump out at them when they least expect it, and yet not everyone will scream when they see another one at a different time. Maybe it’s learnt behaviour. Who knows?
Well according to The Cut, “Psychologists studying disgust, talk about something called the “rejection response” — the overwhelming feeling that you need to get this thing away from you, like, right now. The rejection response, like fear, is a mechanism designed to keep us safe. The presence of insects often indicates that something isn’t safe to consume or touch” and so overtime we have “come to associate the messenger with the threat itself .”
It is a very interesting article and if you’re not too weirded out, I would recommend giving it a good read! Here it is: Insects Are Scary Because Your Brain Confuses Disgust With Fear.
Important to the ecosystem?
The National Geographic has an interesting article and it lists ways they impact and play a part in the environment – They are providers, decomposers, pest controllers and pollinators.
- Without them, “species that are higher up the food chain suffer population losses.”
- We know that insects break down waste products, unlocking certain nutrients for other insects, so without them and those unlocked nutrients: “Waste and carrion would persist in ecosystems, impeding the flow of nutrients.”
- “By feeding on crop-threatening pests, predatory insects perform the role of pesticides without chemicals”. Without them, “Pests proliferate, damaging crops and forests, spurring increased pesticide use.”
- Did you know that “one out of every three bites of food humans eat relies on animal pollination in the production process.” Without bees and other pollinating insects, “humans and animals lose key food sources.”.
From the article: 5 Vital Roles Insects Play In Our Ecosystem
So how can we help them??
Fun ways for all the family or even just yourself to help can be found listed below. One massive one is STOP using chemicals that kill them!!! No matter how “careful” you may be, they will kill a wide range of insects, not including your intended target.
- Dig a pond.
- Plant Native Plants.
- Make a nectar bar!
- Compost your waste
Making a nectar bar means including plants in your garden that are rich in nectar. For example Buddleia is well known for attracting nectar feeding insects such as butterflies and hoverflies throughout the summer.
I would love to hear how you are helping our insects. Do you have a bug house in your garden? Do you have flowers? Let me know in the comments and do not be afraid to get involved. To learn how, head to the page : Nature and Us.