lifestyle

7 things that give everyone the heebie-jeebies.

This is Nat. She’s scared of creepy crawlies.

By NATALIA HAWK

The other day, I got accosted by a centipede. I was camping, and it was just hanging out on my tent, clearly blocking my way out. I freaked out. I’m so bad with creepy crawlies, and this is really unfortunate, because they LOVE me. I think it’s because they can sense fear – like dogs – and I have LOTS of fear. So they target me, and feed off my distress.

As far as creepy crawlies go, however, centipedes are definitely amongst my favourites. Compared to some of the other possibilities out there, I positively welcome centipedes on my tent. Here are seven of my least-favourite creepy crawlies – feel free to laugh at my expense and then share your stories.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this series of posts is sponsored by Bosisto’s Dust Mite Spray.  But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

1. Spiders

I was once driving home from babysitting at 2am on a school night (yeah, those parents liked to party hard). It was in the middle of summer, and so I rolled down the window of my car… only to see a giant, man-eating, zombie-apocalypse-level spider crawl his way straight into the car and disappear into the depths of the darkness.

I pulled the car over instantly, called my mum and told her that I was not driving any further that evening. Or possibly ever again. In fact, I was seriously considering setting my car on fire so that the spider would never be able to eat me alive. Luckily, mum came to collect me and save me from the spider. But it took me a long time to feel safe rolling a window down in my car again.

I don’t know anyone that likes spiders, and I don’t particularly want to know anyone who likes spiders. Of all the creepy crawlies, they’re the worst, because there is always the possibility of being poisoned by one. I have no tips for avoiding spiders except for maybe never getting in cars or, well, going anywhere where a spider might be, including your house, which isn’t entirely practical, so… maybe just move somewhere else, where the spiders aren’t very big. I hear they are particularly wimpy in the UK.

2. Cockroaches

Disgusting but true fact: as a toddler, I once picked up a cockroach to nibble on it. That was the day I was disowned by my family encouraged to never, ever touch or even look at another cockroach, ever again. Needless to say, I do not like them nearly as much these days as I did back then.

“Head lice win a special kind of award for being not only disgusting but inconceivably inconvenient.”

3. Head lice

Head lice win a special kind of award for being not only disgusting but inconceivably inconvenient. Because they’re so contagious, head lice require every member of one’s family to be de-loused. Extensive piles of washing also have to be done in VERY HOT WATER to kill off the filthy little things.

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Oh, and if you have kids that are at school, expect to be doing all of the above at least once a year. If not more. Hot tip – stock up on giant, cheap bottles of conditioner when they’re on sale at the supermarket, it’s an effective way of disposing of the wee beasties.

4. Snakes

The good news is that I have never had a negative experience with a snake. The bad news is that there’s a first time for everything, and I live in Australia, Land Of The Snakes, so it’s really only a matter of time.

5. Moths

Moths are in a league of their own, because while they are just about entirely harmless, they are still creepy in a flappy kind of way. Particularly if you are stuck with a very large moth in a very small bathroom and it keeps flying at your head. For the sake of my own dignity, I will not tell you how this story ends – suffice to say that I now have a Pavlovian response to any moth sighting which involves a lot of blinking and waving my hands around while crying, “GO AWAAAAAY.”

6. Rats

I know I just said that moths are creepy. But I would rather have to spend the night with hundreds of them than come across a rat in any place ever. I once saw a squished rat in the middle of a city road and it actually scarred me so irrevocably that the image still haunts my nightmares. If you’d support my petition to Rid The World Of Rats Forever, please let me know.

7. Dust mites

One of my least favourite memories was the time I found out about the existence of dust mites. They are teeny-tiny things that FEED OFF HUMAN SKIN SCALES and so they thrive in your house… particularly amongst your bedding and the soft, fluffy toys of your children. There can be 10,000 dust mites per square metre in the average home – even if your home is a really clean one. Which is concerning when you’re the kind of person who is seriously allergic to dust mites. I am one of these people. Happily, unlike spiders, there are actually programs to kill off dust mites – and natural programs are available, so you’re not throwing harsh pest control products all over the house.

Are you brave enough to scroll through our gallery of freaky phobias?

Your turn to fess up – what are your biggest fears?


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