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Arachnophobia, an intense fear of spiders. Entomophobia is the term for people that have a fear of insects. If you have a fear of the cockroach, you suffer from katsaridaphobia.

In general there is an almost universal disgust or fear of spiders and creepy crawly things. For some people that fear is almost debilitating. Hence the descriptors for the various phobias.

That fear has served Hollywood well, especially durng the 1950s when producers of low budget films turned out hundreds of movies that blended that fear with growing concerns about nuclear annihilation. Released in 1957, The Incredible Shrinking Man centered on the plight of Scott Carey who began shrinking after exposure to toxic pesticides and radiation. Through the use of special affects the audience was filled with terror as he battled a normal sized spider that now towered over him.

In the 1954 sci fi classic Them! atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters. The common housefly was transformed into a terrifying creature in The Fly released in 1958. As the story unfolds, a scientist is transformed into a half man, half fly creature after a fly enters a molecular transporter that he has devised.

Beginning of the End is a 1957 American sci fi film that has become a cult classic. The premise is simple. An agricultural scientist played by Peter Graves promises to end world hunger when he devises a means to grow gigantic vegetables using concentrated radiation. But when his expermental vegetables are eaten by locusts, they mutate into giant monsters and terrorize the city of Chicago.

Tarantula, a 1955 film, was an arachnophobia suffering persons worst nightmare. In this story with a common theme in 1950s sci fi movies a scientist develops a miracle nutrient using radiation that transforms sterile soil into verdant gardens where vegetables grow fast and large. A tarantula exposed to the miracle nutrient escapes, and as you can guess, it grows to enormous size and terrorizes the desert communities.

The praying mantis is a benign and even beneficial insect. But their appearance is almost otherworldly and for that reason many people have a fear of these creatures.

In 1957 the movie The Deadly Mantis, a prehistoric 200 foot manitis is unleashed with predictable results. Unlike most movies of this genre produced in the 1950s, radiation was not the culprit. This time it is a South Seas volcanic eruption that unleashes the creature from the ice where it was entombed for millions of years. Surprisiingly, this low budget film has also become a cult classic.

The desert southwest and Colorado River Valley are full of creatures such as scorpions, tarantula’s and “killer” bees. But have no fear. Baron Services is just a phone call away. And we are the Colorado River Valley’s oldest and largest pest control company. We can meet all of your pest control needs, unless the tarantula is bigger than a Buick.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America