Surprisingly, cockroaches exhibit actions that can be interpreted as repulsion or disgust when they interact with humans. Same feelings like humans feel towards cockroaches.
One of the most unpleasant creatures to find crawling through your house is undoubtedly the cockroach. It is also one of the most common. The mere sight of a cockroach makes most people fill with disgust and a desire to get run away or hide.
Cockroaches have been around for millions of years and so has the human distaste for the creatures. As far back as the Egyptian “Book of The Dead” there is a recorded spell meant to keep cockroaches away, “Be far from me, O vile cockroach, for I am the god Khnum”. In addition to that, around 77-79 A.D. Pliny the Elder in his book “Natural History” recommended that the “disgusting” creatures be squashed at first sight. Pliny The Elder also had some comments on the remaining juices suggesting they be used to treat ailments of the ear.
There is anecdotal evidence that cockroaches feel the same disgust towards humans. When touched by a human, a cockroach exhibits actions that can be perceived as disgust such as running away and cleaning itself. These actions do not indicate that cockroaches are “disgusted” and can be attributed to their acting on impulses of a simple nervous system.
It is most likely cockroaches are just trying to stay alive. Both the oils of a human and the shadow of a human represent an immediate danger to the cockroach. The rest of the article will attempt to breakdown why cockroaches behave this way and then explore why humans are disgusted by cockroaches.