Can't touch roaches

greyshark

Arachnopeon
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May 27, 2012
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23
Hi everyone!
Is anyone else who breeds roaches (for feeding or otherwise) scared of touching them? It may sound silly but I recently got some dubias to start a colony and I just cannot imagine habdling them. When I was buying nymphs when my spider was smaller I had no major problems but it's not the same with adults. And I am not repulsed by them in the sense that I can't look at them or anything like that. I just can't touch them. Does anyone have the same problem?
 

Andrea82

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="greyshark, post: 2583402, member: 64518"especiaveryone!
Is anyone else who breeds roaches (for feeding or otherwise) scared of touching them? It may sound silly but I recently got some dubias to start a colony and I just cannot imagine habdling them. When I was buying nymphs when my spider was smaller I had no major problems but it's not the same with adults. And I am not repulsed by them in the sense that I can't look at them or anything like that. I just can't touch them. Does anyone have the same problem?
I have the same reaction to locusts as feeders, especially the sub-adult or adult ones. I like watching them, but no chance in hell i'm picking one up with my bare hands. Good thing there are tongs or forceps :D
And i must admit i had the same reaction to adult dubia at first. They are just so...big. There aren't really large bugs in the Netherlands, so it was a bit of a shock when opening the box :p

You could train yourself to get comfortable with them, but you could also just use to tongs/forceps. And maybe when you have fed them long enough, you won't be nervous anymore.
 

SlugPod

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Sep 28, 2015
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You most likely have some phobia going on or a bit of just fear.
I used to have a massive fear of roaches to the point where I couldn't even look at them.
Now I'm doing better.

I'd recommend trying to handle SMALLER roaches to start. Work on just handling the nymphs. And slowly start handling bigger sized ones until you're comfortable handling the adults.
It might be a slow process, but eventually that should help you down the road!
 

Draketeeth

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Mar 22, 2015
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The big ones are just mostly big. Their feet/legs are a bit prickly but beyond that, they're generally gentle creatures. I got bit by an adult female once and she gave me a good pinch but didn't break the skin. I hadn't realized my hand had roach food residue on it till she got me. It was a surprise!
 

EulersK

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I had a huge phobia of roaches right up until a few years ago. I was very well aware that I was irrationally scared of roaches, but that's how phobias go.

For me, it was all about desensitizing. Spend enough time with the roaches and you find out that they're not so bad. When I began selling them, I obviously had to package them up which forced me to handle much more than I had in the past. Now I'm able to scoop them up by the handful without any issues at all. In other words, get in there and scoop up some roaches every day :D
 

RTTB

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Gradual exposure and slow desensitizing may work. Start small and work your way up.
 

Christianb96

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Jan 7, 2017
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I use to have a slight fear of roaches because of Florida palmetto bugs (aka the Florida skunk roach) because they where huge and would fly at you. Since I started a small colony of hissers and its no longer a problem for me.
 

Hisserdude

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I use to have a slight fear of roaches because of Florida palmetto bugs (aka the Florida skunk roach) because they where huge and would fly at you.
Palmetto bugs and Florida skunk roaches are two different things. Generally when people refer to Palmetto bugs they are talking about Periplaneta americana, (aka the American roach, which is a misleading name since they are native to Africa), which have wings and can fly/glide.

Florida skunk roaches, Eurycotis floridana, are completely different than P.americana, they have vegistal wing pads and are larger than Periplaneta, and are not invasive pests like they are, they are actually native to FL, (and some of the surrounding states).

Sorry for getting off topic, just wanted to clear that up. :D
 

The Snark

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As commented. Phobia, from the Greek Phobos, panic fear. Genetic. Rooted in the part of the brain where survival instincts lurk. Not necessarily rational. Raw primal, basal instincts. Everyone has them. Solution is as said, desensitize, or divert the underlying subconscious triggers.

A very simple solution. Divert the trigger towards a different response. As contact with roach legs, stick you hand in, go into panic mode, then notice they tickle. Tickle is a basal response as powerful as flight/fear. Re-associate your response from YIKES to giggles and twitches.

You can then play games with your phobia. Attach higher order brain functions to the basal response. Why are they tickling me? They're a bunch of bumbling idiots in panic mode themselves. Once a higher order brain function gets involved, where your rational brain kicks in, you get to take control.
 
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The Snark

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Playing games with phobias.

Can't touch a cockroach. Can't touch X. Take away the extraneous you have a primal trigger reflex. Typical example is firing a gun and a common phobia, firearm fear. It is going to produce sensory input 1, loud noise, input 2, violent force against my body. (Auditory and sensory input). Very common. About 1/3 of the people on the planet have this. These responses can be retrained, reassigned.

A textbook example of this reassignment would be my sis. (Hoping she never reads this). She derives erotic stimulation, another primal, basal response, from firing guns. The louder the bang and the harder the recoil, the more she enjoys it.
 

ChanTheMan

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Feb 9, 2017
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Use wooden/metal tongs or tweezers, and when you are feeding, imagine you are giving a bone to a happy puppy. :)
 

Anoplogaster

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The big ones are just mostly big. Their feet/legs are a bit prickly but beyond that, they're generally gentle creatures. I got bit by an adult female once and she gave me a good pinch but didn't break the skin. I hadn't realized my hand had roach food residue on it till she got me. It was a surprise!
Dubias can bite?:eek: I had no idea! I have a very large breeding colony and have gotten very well-acquainted with them. I've even eaten a couple myself:wacky:! Never known them to bite!
 

Hisserdude

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Dubias can bite?:eek: I had no idea! I have a very large breeding colony and have gotten very well-acquainted with them. I've even eaten a couple myself:wacky:! Never known them to bite!
It's not so much biting out of aggression as just taking a little nibble in an attempt to judge whether you are tasty or not. :) I've had several roaches take little nibbles on my hand, and it usually correlates with feeding day, when they are at their hungriest.
 

EulersK

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The bites may not hurt, but the leg spikes certainly do. Those have broken the skin on me a few times, and it gets infected every time. For some reason though, it's only the males with the bad spikes.
 

Walker253

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Jun 12, 2016
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Easy to say don't think about it and go for it, hard to do... Familiarization and generally being around them more, at least I believe, the phobia will fade. There are 2000 species of roach, less than 15 are pests. Dubia aren't part of the 15. They are just another bug.
 

Stugy

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Apr 21, 2016
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648
You most likely have some phobia going on or a bit of just fear.
I used to have a massive fear of roaches to the point where I couldn't even look at them.
Now I'm doing better.

I'd recommend trying to handle SMALLER roaches to start. Work on just handling the nymphs. And slowly start handling bigger sized ones until you're comfortable handling the adults.
It might be a slow process, but eventually that should help you down the road!
Practically what's happening to me except I'm taking the extremely aggressive route by just buying a crap ton of roaches xD I got my first roaches (domino roaches omg they are adorable :3) and I was hesitant when I first saw them. Now I got in a bunch of roaches coming in in about a week so I'm quite excited to get rid of this horrible phobia once and for all! American roaches will always "bug" (ba dum tsh) me until I die.
 

Stugy

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Apr 21, 2016
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A textbook example of this reassignment would be my sis. (Hoping she never reads this). She derives erotic stimulation, another primal, basal response, from firing guns. The louder the bang and the harder the recoil, the more she enjoys it.
I'm sorry but LOL xD That's a first. Buuuuut I've read/heard stranger things so at this point these things are ones I come to expect in humanity. I possess this firearm fear in which it gets to the point that I can't shoot bb guns. But nerf guns are my life.
 
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