Unease about small animals

All birds and mammals have different forms of inherited behavior patterns that are designed to keep harmful insects at bay. When we slap animals that crawl on our neck out of reflex, without assessing whether it can sting or bite, it is undoubtedly an innate reaction.

Many people look at small animals of any kind with distrust, disgust or fear. However, there is nothing as such which suggests that we have an inherent fear of small creepy things .We are rather born with a preparedness, an application that allows us to know and remember the animals which we have unpleasant experiences with or to which our surroundings have a negative reaction – so we can avoid them in the future.

To better understand people’s attitude towards small animals, extensive surveys have been carried out in the U.S. These show that more than 80% found it uncomfortable to have insects in the house, even if they are completely harmless such as the silverfish, and that 1 in 20 people were outright afraid of small animals.

Furthermore, the survey indicated that the unease is most common among women and that the tolerance is raised depending on level of education. The latter is encouraging because it shows that the more you know about the animals, the more tolerant you become towards them.

The people (e.g. entomologists and people interested in nature) who take their time to get to know the animals usually have a relaxed attitude towards them. They take their precautions against animals, which can cause discomfort and are excited about the fascinating richness of nature, which the small animals also represent.

You might get a better quality of life by getting to know the small animals. On the other hand, it is not feasible to know about all the animals. A reasonable solution to the problem is to learn a little about the few pest species that live in Denmark, and then look at the others with curiosity and wonder.