Do Insects Feel Pain?


When you see a spider, how do you react? Some people run away, others grab a shoe to squish it, and others try to catch it and free it outside. The way you respond when you see a pest in your home, a fly stuck in a web, or a video of a pest feasting on another might have to do with your question of: do insects feel pain? Well, the answer is complicated, as you’ll find after a quick internet search. Here are arguments from both sides:

No, Insects Do Not Feel Pain. argues that the insect nervous system differs greatly from that of higher order animals. The clearest evidence that insects do not feel pain is because of how insects respond to injuries. For example, an insect with a damaged foot doesn’t limp, and insects with crushed abdomens continue to feed and mate. Caterpillars still eat and move about their host plant, even with parasites consuming their bodies. Even a locust being devoured by a praying mantid will behave normally, feeding right up until the moment of death.

Do Insects Feel Pain? Yes.

A post from Oxford University’s Blog explains that from an evolutionary perspective, the awareness of pain is a learning opportunity, making it unlikely that pain is unique to humans. Insects have plenty of dangers—predators, bug zappers, fly swatters—and they do have the ability to learn. So it seems possible that insects would have evolved the capacity to feel pain.

If you agree with this argument, here are some things you can do:

  • Keep them out! Take preventative measures, like patching cracks and tidying up, so insects don’t have the chance to make their way into your home.
  •  Set them free. Put a cup over the insect and slip a piece of paper under it, trapping the bug. Bring it outside and set it free.

Take Yourself out of The Equation. Let The Pros Do The Work.

The insect experts at Green Pest Solutions know how to keep the pests out of your home and how to get them out if they invade. Call us today at 877-636-9469 for a free quote.

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