“In general, fear of insects falls into the creepy category, and most of the time, it’s fear with a disgust component,” he says. “Cicada are especially unusual and the less familiar things are, the scarier they can be.”
These feelings are likely to be part of an evolutionary mechanism that protects us. People are prone to avoid things that can lead to disease or harm us, such as insects, rodents and snakes, he says.
Plus, people don’t like the unpredictable things they can’t control. The result is often fear, repulsion and even anger.
“When there are swarms and you don’t have control, that increases the level of stress or frustration and fear,” Antony says. “Fear and anger are two sides of the same coin; both are responses to the threat.”
According to him, his appearance can also be a factor. With wide wings, open eyes and bodies of considerable size, up to the top 2 inches long – They probably won’t win any insect beauty contests.
“They look like aliens,” Antony says. “The bigger a mistake is made, the more it looks like a monster.”
People are also likely to have negative associations with insects from screen representations or bad experiences they have had personally, he says.
For Vicki Dodson, Baltimore art director and graphic designer who creates her own cicada art, it’s just the opposite. She taught him from a young age to appreciate insects like cicadas. And through the process of selling their products, they have realized that there are many people who share their recognition for them.
In fact, there are quite a few cicadas that follow. A group of insect enthusiasts christened the “cicada pursuers”It travels from other states and even other countries to track it.
“For me, I feel like humans are so far away from nature in so many ways now,” says Dodson, 57. “When I think there are a billion insects coming out of the earth (sing, kill, die) it’s a reminder phenomenon, there’s a natural world.
“It doesn’t sound weird, but it’s kind of magic.”