Hard to Love Species

I am rereading A Walk Through the Year by Edwin Way Teale. At one point he confesses that grackles are one bird he finds hard to like. I personally still struggle with an irrational childhood phobia of toads. I’m interested in what organisms challenge the biophilia of other Inat people.

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Ticks, mosquitos, and other disease vectors, but especially ticks.

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Starlings, pigeons, mosquitoes and the paper wasps.

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Whatever small species of fly it is that follows me in swarms this time of year and doesn’t seem interested in biting or anything, just one singular goal:

to headbutt one of my open eyeballs.

I don’t get it. When they are successful, that’s all she wrote for the fly, not to mention a great irritation to me. Ticks, horseflies and mosquitos are not my favorite, but nothing gets me worked up like these little eyeball-seeking flies.

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Pretty much anything that bites or stings is mildly alarming to me, probably due to “discovering” ants in my clothing to many times, and by stepping on paper wasps with bare feet (accidentally).

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Ticks. I respect their evolutionary amazingness, but I loathe them.

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I would have said ticks, but I found out fairly recently that chiggers aren’t just small ticks, so I’m going with chiggers.

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I’m terrified of spiders. I’m working on it through photography so jumping spiders and little ones are ok but big ones are a big nope.

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Agreed, I feel the exact same way.

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I just plain don’t like monkeys. :man_shrugging: Otherwise, the things that make me go eurghhh are from context rather than the organism itself. Disease vectors (ticks, horse flies), things that want to live inside me (bot flies, pinworms), things that would infest all my stuff and make me itch forever (bedbugs, scabies), highly destructive invasive species (wolfsnails, ferals, foxes in Aus), and definitely all the damn flies that want to touch my eyes and nostrils. Many of those things I would/do appreciate if they leave me alone/are in their native contexts.

Leeches are all right though since they don’t leave trypanosomes or itching.

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i hope to get myself over any species i feel that way about. i used to be absolutely afraid of paper wasps but i was able to get myself over that in time. i also find that a lot of primates are just too weird looking for me. it mostly applies to ones that seem too human. weird looking primates that are very nonhuman are fine.

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Toxicodendron radicans aka poison ivy. It’s actually kind of pretty at times (when it’s all shiny and new in the spring, or colorfully going up a tree in the fall), but just one little touch and that’s weeks of blisters for me.

On the plus side my keeping a sharp eye out for at it trailside has let me notice other interesting things on the ground. On the minus side I can’t always go over to the other things on the ground because of a magic urushiol barrier in my way.

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Spiders were a huge fear of mine and are now my life’s obsession, then it was bees/wasps and now I get right in among them. But I used to get bit by mosquitoes more than anyone else, and I developed an irrational fear of them. Luckily, the fear has been replaced by sort of a they-look-cool-in-pictures respect, but I still get on-edge around them. And ticks shudder. The problem is that I have no personal experience with ticks, so all I have is fear and loathing. I see all of these photos of people holding ticks, and I just wonder, “Does it take a while for it to dig its little bloodsucking snout into you? Why are you holding it?!” I really hate the fear that comes with ignorance, but I have no idea what it’s like to live with ticks, and they freak me out! Actually, I think I find it hard to like anything that makes it a point to feed on us, especially when it comes with an extra gift of discomfort.

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@sea-kangaroo Oh man, I forgot about bot flies D: bleeeechhh :::shudder:::

intellectually, ticks are still worse, but bot fly larvae are just disturbing… They have now moved to the top of my list… (on the other hand, some of the adult bot flies are fuzzy and sweet looking, but they mask a gruesome childhood stage. )

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I agree with everyone about ticks. I also have no love for roaches or bedbugs.

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Homo sapiens can be right up there… sometimes I swear they are making life difficult just for the kicks…

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Poa pratensis. I hate it, and everything like it, with a fiery passion. Lawn grasses are truly evil. They are the only organisms I actively hate. At least if I caught the plague I could have fun some uploading the first observation of Yersinia pestis on iNat before I die. There are absolutely no upsides for lawns.

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Earwigs. *shudder*

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I must be too tired, having scanned down this I first read it as making life difficult for the ticks.

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Red-winged Blackbird.