NEW YORK — As summer arrives and people open their windows or head outside, many have one thing on their minds: get out the bug spray! When it comes to creepy and crawly pests, a new study finds cockroaches are officially the most hated insect.
That’s according to a survey of 2,000 people which reveals 39 percent can’t stand roaches. Spiders (37%) and ants (29%) — even more so than mosquitos (28%) — round out the top three most hated bugs.
Respondents hate these pests so much, 69 percent can’t sleep if they know there’s an insect in their home. In fact, average person loses 36 hours of snooze time annually because of this nagging fear.
Don’t let the bed bugs bite, literally
For those who struggle with a fear of bugs, 64 percent believe they only exist to cause itchiness and pain and don’t contribute any good to the world. Three in five went even further, saying they’d want to burn their home down if they came across a bug.
The study, commissioned by Zevo and conducted by OnePoll, also reveals what respondents would do to not deal with bugs ever again. Bugs can be such a nuisance, two in three people would give up a month’s pay to avoid bugs forever. Another 61 percent would forego their favorite food for a year.
Respondents say they would pay an average of $1,974 to never see bugs in their home again, while others would fork out $2,241 to never come across a bug again anywhere in the world ever!
American workers have also had their fair share of bugs. In fact, a whopping 91 percent of those in the food and beverage industry say insects interrupt their thought process at work. Meanwhile, nearly half of carpenters and construction workers (48%) see bugs as a threat to their families, pets, and themselves. Additionally, 78 percent of education workers shudder just at the thought of encountering a bug.
“The common reaction to finding bugs in the home is that we want to get rid of them, immediately,” says Daniel Perry, Chief Entomologist, at Zevo, in a statement. “Insects push our anxiety, fear and disgust buttons. They are resilient and smart — having millions of years to adapt to predators and, more recently, us. They have evolved to inhabit our living spaces. Many are harmless but others are dangerous and carry diseases. Bugs that we find outdoors in nature are one thing, but once they enter the home and invade our personal safe havens, it’s a totally different feeling.”
Pests can ruin your ability to sell your house
Close to three-quarters of Americans (71%) admit they don’t take bugs seriously until they pose a threat to their homes. For example, the average person say they wouldn’t recognize that they have a fly problem until there are five of them buzzing about.
However, nearly the same number (72%) will reconsider buying a home or choosing an apartment if they know about a bug problem there. If they do come across a bug infestation at home, 74 percent of respondents will take immediate action to avoid future issues. Four in 10 added they reach for the nearest shoe, magazine, or item to hunt down the pest. Meanwhile, 27 percent say they try to capture and release the bug into the wild and 22 percent will simply scream.
“It’s always good to remember that when you see one insect, there are likely more following closely behind,” adds Perry. “It’s important to stop small bug problems from becoming big bug problems as soon as possible. Monitor the area, seal up cracks and holes, keep the kitchen and trash areas tidy, dry up damp areas, clean and sweep regularly, and reach for an effective insect control product that blasts bugs without harsh chemicals.”