Whether some of these miniature life forms are on or within us or elsewhere, they are a fact of life and pardon the pun, they frequently “bug us”
An Entomologist, whose income depends on them, could be of the opinion that this is nothing more than a case of an infested mind !
However, humans do have fears and it is ironic that however small, they can be intrusive, lurking in the background.
Naturally having them as one’s best buddies is ridiculous, but then extreme phobias can be harmful to mental and physical health.
Maybe fear and loathing is a product of modern culture, or society having been evolutionarily primed to be keenly aware of insects in our proximity.
However, culture and religion too can play a major role. For example as Hindus believe in reincarnation into various life forms, killing could be an issue.
Of all the millions, a few that are constantly in our space are worth mentioning, many feeding on human blood which invokes a sense of vampirism !
In the case of mosquitoes the annoyance is more likely the irritating buzzing and bed bugs have a time schedule nipping flesh whilst one is asleep.
On the other hand, cockroaches are despicable to most and have a nasty way of “spooking” one when the lights are turned on. These creatures having survived a jaunt into space and returned in perfect health are here to stay.
Although spiders are feared by many, not so much for being bitten but due to their creepy, silent movements and that characteristic “Legginess” as one expert put it !
Flies are a horror when they continually settle on food and fleas create itchy bites on people and animals.
Ants invade en masse and exist in large colonies and a few larger varieties do have a go at one’s ankles.
All life forms are crucial to the planet’s eco-systems. Many aerate the soil, others pollinate to uphold life and scavengers ingest dead matter acting as vacuum cleaners eliminating threats of disease.
Economically, many small creatures add value producing honey, silk and lacquer.
In terms of food; protein is supplied to reptiles, birds an even humans especially in South America, the Far East and Africa.
Bugs are now noticeably appearing in the west on menus, not exactly “haute cuisine” and to many a locust wrap is squeamish to say the least !
Should all insects be eliminated from the planet, scientists warn that within 50 years life on earth would cease to exist.
As for beauty products, bugs are not an issue but bacteria and fungi are of real concern. On the whole, women use make-up for months if not years being unaware of the dangers.
This will be covered in a future article.