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Women's Fear of Cockroaches

Updated on January 2, 2015

Understanding Women

Over the past couple of years, it has come to my attention that women don't fear many things but when they do, then game on. When a woman is scared, the anxiety is up full-throttle and there is nothing anyone can do or say to calm the storm. One particular fear that has seemed to resurface lately, or at least from a variety of facebook posts and just in conversation in general, is the woman's fear of cockroaches.

Although I've always known that many women freak out to all bugs and insects including spiders, beetles, grasshoppers, and waterbugs; I've discovered that women have a deeper, irrational fear of roaches. Before now, I thought that this was strictly a stereotype, but I've come to the conclusion that most women are terrified of cockroaches or bugs related to roaches (such as palmettos).

It seems that this fear is exclusively a female trait. Granted, guys like myself, are not fond roaches and may even act hostile towards the scaly, disgusting bastards, but usually men don't fear them.

So, with this realization, I find myself trying to figure out why so many women panic to such an extent that they are literally a heart beat away from a full blown panic attack. So, let's get started.


Fear of cockroaches

In order to find a solution to the roach phobia, I'll have to dig to the root of the problem, the actual fear itself. First, I will describe a scenario (that I have witnessed on numerous occasions) of a woman's reaction to a cockroach and then proceed from there.

For starters, women scream. It's a high, schrill voice that pierces the eardrum to the point of deafness. When it's happening, I honestly think that they are either dying or a huge bengal tiger just crashed right into them.

After the ghastly scream for help, the woman rushes in the opposite direction and usually heads for high ground, like a nearby couch or table. With their eyes wide open and their body in a defensive position, women continue to scream and then point hysterically. They might even throw a pillow at the roach (which is very effective, by the way) or they want you, the man, to take care of it.

Once that ordeal is over, they run to the bedroom, wrap themselves in a blanket and are in a state of sheer terror. Then the guy asks, "Are you okay?"

Here's a list of typical female responses after a so called roach attack:

1.) "They are going to kill me."

2.) "They will eat us and take over our bodies."

3.) "Shhh...they can hear you. They are everywhere."

4.) "It flew at me and was chasing me all over the house."

5.) "It's not safe. Save yourself!"

6.) "They look like aliens. Just look at them."

7.) "I just had a full-pledged meltdown."

8.) "I almost died."

9.) "They are evil."

10.) "I'm losing it."

The list goes on, but it is usually something along those lines, in no particular order and in a variety of different aforementioned combinations.

Overcoming the fear

Like any fear, in order to overcome the fear of cockroaches, you must face it. Avoidance will only solve the problem momentarily and it will never help in the long run.

For me, there was a time when I hated roaches. I freaked out whenever I saw one and I certainly didn't want the responsibility of killing one. Then, my roommate showed me that there was another way to look at them. You see, he doesn't believe in killing things (even roaches), so whenever he wanted to get rid of them, he would catch them and then throw them outside. I know, touching right?

Over time, it made me feel guilty whenever I killed the little bastards, so one day I decided to follow suit and tried to catch a roach. Honestly, I was kind of scared at first and apprehensive about holding those disgusting vermits with that brown exoskeleton of theirs and those appendages that seem to stretch on forever and ever, and lets not forget that huge melon they have for a head. Blahhhh, it makes me sick just thinking about cockroaches, but I can honestly say that I have no fear of them. Once I was able to catch one (with either a paper towel or plastic bag), I got over the fact that they were disgusting alien-like looking insects and the fact that you can hear them crawl as they scurry across the floor. I got over all of that and I think you can too.

So, ladies, you need to man up and understand that roaches are not here to kill you. They don't have a secret agenda to invade your body and turn you into a roach zombie. And even if they are set out to kill you, you can reassure yourself that you can get to them first and there is nothing the cockroach can do about it!


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    • profile image

      Celeste G. 

      7 months ago

      I totally hate roaches of all types, but mostly German cabinet roaches. They can get started over the smallest thing. Something as someone bring you something from their house that has German cabinet roaches. They hide in e ery little warm. Crack they can fit in and if they get started

    • profile image

      Neeraja Unni 

      3 years ago

      But the line It flew at me and was chasing me all over the house" is absolutely right Why do they do that?When they does so to a person with fear of cockroaches it is really scary and makes the phobia worse

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I hate roaches wit my life. D fact dat dey can fly worsen d case. God help me


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have a phobia for bugs. mainly cockroaches. but when i do see one i go psychotic. then if i get d chance i kill it. smash it up an make sure its dead!

    • drej2522 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      hehe Lynn! well, just don't physically touch the cockroach. Just pick it up with a cloth or something!

    • profile image

      Lynn Jairus 

      7 years ago

      nooo. i can never stand to feel or touch the outer part of a cockroach. eee!

    • profile image

      2009 Imagineer 

      7 years ago

      I also fear cockroaches. What really bothers me is their size and the fact that they fly. It's probably the flying more than the size. Had ants been that size I would probably still be able to kill them no problem.

      Tonight, I had at least one cockroach in my room. I was going to go sleep somewhere else in the house, but decided to finally face my fear and kill it. The first attempt, I thought I had killed it but found no remains. The second time I got it though. I kept smashing it to make sure it was dead. I'm not cleaning that thing up though.

      I believe I still have a slight fear to them since tonight I keep thinking that any tingling feeling is a cockroach crawling on me, but at least I can finally kill one now.

      BTW, reaction 4 is the one that mostly relates to me.

    • Green Bard profile image

      Steve Andrews 

      7 years ago from Tenerife

      I catch them and throw them out over the balcony. I have encountered many women who act like you have written of here, in an irrational way! I had a landlady who sprayed horrible insecticide all over the place if she saw one, just one! But not all women are like this, but I agree the vast majority are. It is really illogical especially when you consider how many of the insects are around in some places. Walking about at night her on Tenerife you can often see roaches in the streets and on walls and it gives you an idea of just how many there really are. I have found that cockroaches are actually social creatures and they call others to form groups as far as I can tell. I am not sure how they do this but it seems to happen.

    • drej2522 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks for stopping by Larry. I admit, I was making a generalization about women (and men for that matter), but the article is centered around women and their fear of roaches, so reworking it to be more politically correct really wouldn't fit with the flow of the article. Besides, it is more silly and poking fun verses playing the woman card so to speak.

    • profile image

      Larry Wall 

      7 years ago

      I agree with Glenn Stok, you offered some good advice to people with phobias. However, you may have played the woman card a little too much. You might want to rework this a little and add some that men hve their fears like some. Nobody likes snakes, but the man gets stuck taking care of it, but jumps if anyone says anything. Just lighten up a little on the gals. Actually my wife handles roaches pretty well. Lizards are another story.

    • drej2522 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      @Melissa ~ Well, I definitely don't kill them, but I'm going to have to disagree with you on the super cuteness of cockroaches. Sorry. :)

      @Glenn ~ Thanks! You hit the nail on the head, but ultimately it IS about women and bugs. heh

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      7 years ago from Long Island, NY

      There's a lot more to this hub than at first thought and I am sure you knew what you were doing when you wrote it. Reading between the lines, I find that you have offered an enormously helpful guidance for people who have phobias of ANY kind. It's not just about women and it's not just about cockroaches. Well done.  Voted up.

    • Melissa A Smith profile image

      Melissa A Smith 

      7 years ago from New York

      I love cockroaches they are super cute. How do they look like aliens? Bugs dominate the world, and we are hairless primates....and they are aliens? Ok...I have pet roaches a spider and a giant centipede. Bugs are the cutest animals on the planet that is all. Please listen to your friend and don't kill them.


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