Are bugs scared of humans?

Scientists are still trying to determine if bugs sense fear, pain, and other emotions. For most bugs, threats from overhead predators signal a negative response to hide or flee to another location. A 2015 California Institute of Technology study published in Science Daily found that fruit flies responded to a simulated overhead predator experiment by leaving the place where they were hovering over food or freezing until the predator response decayed in a few minutes. Researchers concluded that "These experiments provide objective evidence that visual stimuli designed to mimic an overhead predator can induce a persistent and scalable internal state of defensive arousal in flies, which can influence their subsequent behavior for minutes after the threat has passed." However, this study did not show evidence that flies are afraid of humans; it shows that flies showed the primitive triggers required for an emotional response from an overhead predator.

Even though roaches will try and usually succeed at fleeing the scene when you turn on the lights, again, these resilient creatures are responding to environmental stimuli, not fear of humans necessarily. Also, insect brains do not contain the neuro-transmitters to identify human fear. Some insects, as most people know, are actually attracted to humans. Of course, mosquitoes, ticks, and bed bugs are attracted to humans for their survival. Female mosquitoes bite humans because they need a blood meal for their eggs to grow into mosquitoes. Ticks need a blood meal at each life stage to move into the next phase of their lives. Bed bugs need human or animal blood to survive and nurture their young. Essentially, bugs aren’t scared of humans, but instead, exhibit a defense response to large or overhead predators.

Bugs may not be scared of humans, but if you are scared of bugs, do not hesitate to call Pestwise to ensure your Palm Beach or Pinellas County home is bug-free. Our pest control services have been bringing peace of mind to homeowners throughout West Florida for over 65 years.

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