Why do people find insects disgusting?

    Edit article
    Why do people find insects disgusting?

  • 1 Hard to relate

    People relate more easily to species that are similar in appearance to them and subconsciously consider anything that looks different as 'alien' and strange. This invokes feelings of fear and uncertainty, which repel people from insects.

  • 2 Jerky and fast movements

    Because of the way they are built, most insects move in jerky and fast moves. People feel uncomfortable around anything that moves too fast as it might remind them of an attacking predator. Jerky movements also seem as unnatural and perhaps robotic/mechanical.

  • 3 Weird sounds

    Flying insects often produce unique and unsettling sounds which make people uncomfortable.

  • 4 Strange pregnancies and mating rituals

    Some insects have very strange mating rituals such as the female eating her male partner after mating or baby offspring eating their mother from the inside out. This is quite unsettling for most people.

  • 5 Small size

    Most insects are small in size and some people are afraid that they will invade their body through their nose, ears or mouth openings. A study has shown that we actually eat many insects during our lifetime while sleeping.


  • 6 Bizzare body shape

    Multiple legs, many eyes, expressionless faces, bright body colors and unfamiliar body features make insects look disgusting to many people. Because of these major differences in body shapes, we might feel discomfort near insects.

  • 7 Poisonous and disease carriers

    Many insects can poison us or inflict us with serious diseases. To increase our chances of survival, our brain motivates us to move away from them by using disgust (see also why do flies land on people).

  • 8 Reminding us of negativity

    Flies, for example, are often found on things that waste away such as carcasses, trash and excrement. Because of that, we associate them immediately with filth and negative things in our surrounding world.

  • 9 Lack of control

    The reason some people hate insects is that they unconsciously make them feel helpless. Because you can't expect the next move or the direction of an insect, you can easily feel helpless. Control freaks might fear insects.

  • 10 Conditioning

    In some countries people eat insects, while in some others the same insects are considered very disgusting. When a child sees his mother screaming at the sight of an insect the child might grow up finding insects fearful.


  • 11 Feeling stuck

    Horror happens when fear is combined with the inability to escape. An insect that flies inside your car, for example, can result in horror because you will be afraid and you won't be able to escape.

  • 12 Social status

    Insects are perceived by many people to be unclean and disgusting. They are usually seen in slums and poorly cleaned places. Sometimes these feelings of disgust come from the desire to protect one's social status by moving the person away from anything that is connected with lower classes.

  • 13 They are smart

    It's as if they can look at you and see the danger in your angry or frightened eyes. Cockroaches may be stunned at the first sight of you, only to find the perfect timing while you try and grab the best thing to squish it with. And the fly goes back and forth  from attacking you to running away.