Touch No Evil…

September 18, 2008 at 4:47 pm | Posted in itchy fingers | Leave a comment
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A lot of people have some inborn fear, phobia or even hatred for the creepy crawlies, especially those which are considered pests in our homes, the most notorious being the cockroaches. I too, have such fear for cockroaches. They are dirty and look disgusting with hairy legs and two antennae sticking out, constantly fiddling around…and when they fly….eeeeek! You dunnu whether they are gonna land on your face or not! The thought of them turns me off! :O

But come to think of it, why are human so afraid of something so much smaller in size? It just doesn’t make sense…hahaha…The hate or dislike for them is quite understandable though, cos many carry diseases and some are even venomous.

As a nature lover, generally I do not detest these creepy crawlies (other than cockroaches!) cos some of them are actually quite beautiful to look at. :p

At a recent volunteer programme that Itchyfingers joined, I had the chance to have a closer contact with some of these creatures. How close leh ? To help overcome our fear of these creepy crawlies, we were asked to hold them in our hands. :O Well, it also gave us a chance to better observe these guys up close and personal…

Most of us had no problem handling or at least taking over the stick insect from another person’s hand, probably cos it is not something portrayed as fearsome or threatening. For me, I find them so amazing, having encountered them about three times in the wild. They are so well camouflaged among the twigs and you really have to be lucky and sharp-eyed in order to spot them! 😀

The caterpillar of the Common Tree Nymph butterfly was another crawlies we had to handle. These guys have long and pointed spike like things on the body that look very menacing but in actual fact they are not poisonous. The black and white stripes merely advertise to potential predators that they do not taste very good.

Hee…he’s actually very soft to touch! Matches my shirt too!

Other crawlies that we had a chance to touch or hold include this one: it is always thought that they have milllion legs but in actual fact each of these guys have about less than 700 legs. If you have the time and patience, you can count the number of segments on its body, as each segment carries two pairs of legs. Yes…you guessed it….it’s the MILLIPEDE! :O

Arrrgh! I actually let it crawl on the back of my hand…feels itchy with
so many legs crawling around…

Millipedes will roll up into a ball when threatened to protect their soft legs. With so many of us taking turns holding it, I think it got fed up and decided to give us some present! When they are continuously disturbed, they will secrete a foul and poisonous substance called the Cyanide through pores on the side of their body. A small amount is not harmful to the human though, but we had to wash away the yellow stain. :p It is best not to handle a millepede next time you see it in the wild, cos some people may be allergic to it!

Ok, I thought it was quite an achievement for me to handle a millipede liao. But what came next was even worse! When we were shown and told to handle these, everyone, including the guys, ran to the back of the queue, trying to escape! So what was it that had such a great effect on everyone??


Ok, it’s not the usual American Cockroach or German Cockroach commonly found in our urban dwellings. It is supposed to be a “clean” cockroach, cos it feeds on dead leaves in the forests of Madagascar. But hor, it is still a COCKROACH! And it is the largest cockroach some more! :O

The fact that the whole glass tank was filled with these Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches reminded me of Fear Factors. It was really funny to see the expression of everyone. No one wanted to be the first to hold one…The senior volunteers had to resort to coaxing and persuading, showing us the ‘proper’ way of holding. “Just imagine you are holding a hash brown.” My goodness! Eventually one brave guy plunged the courage and took one in his hand! :O But he threw it back almost immediately! Hahaha….Then there were people who needed to stare very hard at the tank ‘choosing’ the most inactive and “senile” ones to hold. In the meantime, another lady managed to grab one! Then another guy also succeeded and decided to pass it around to people who couldn’t bear to catch one themselves. By this time my legs were shaking and felt so grossed out cos whether it’s clean or not, the fact that the name has a ‘Cockroach’ in it is really scary and disgusting! I wondered how my two female friends could keep these as PETS! So disgusted at the thought of cockroaches as pets that whenever I saw them I would always ask if the roaches were dead liao or not! Hahaha….and now….I was asked to grab them! Eeeeee!

After some dilly-dally, I finally gave in to the ‘kind offer’ of putting one of the hissing guys onto my palm! I wanted to throw it away but my fellow volunteer wanted to take a picture. Arrrrggggh! Hurry Up!

I can’t believe I actually did this! :O Someone help me!!!!! :O People
behind me were still trying hard to grab one! 

Think I washed my hand really clean that day….

What an ordeal! :O

Also see related posts:
> Invasion of the Creepy Crawlies 
> Sleepless in Siam – Bangkok, Thailand Trip #2 


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