I'm not sure if it's an actual fear of cockroaches, or that I simply despise them. I had never actually seen one until I moved down here to Texas. I'd heard of them, of course, but back home, they were considered a sign of filth, or of really old buildings that hadn't been cleaned or maintained. I had heard my aunt mention palmetto bugs when they lived in Hawaii, but I didn't realize those were actually what Texans call tree roaches, or big ugly nasty flying cockroaches. I am o.k. with lizards getting in the house, and I routinely dispose of spiders, tree frogs, etc., but I draw the line at snakes (yes, I had a baby snake in my last place) and cockroaches. I don't go to theaters much these days, but when I first moved down here and went to an older theater, once the lights went out, I had to leave, because I could tell there were cockroaches moving around. When I first moved down here, I would not turn off the lights, because the apartment I was staying in had roaches. I learned that they come out in the dark, and scatter when the lights were turned on, so I developed a policy of keeping the lights on all day and night long. The people I was staying with had money to spray, but maybe they just didn't know what to do, since they were also from up North, and unused to the bugs. They didn't seem to be bothered by them the way I was, though. If I see one, I will then imagine I'm going to see more, and it drives me crazy until a few months have passed, then I'll run across another. They live outdoors and in the trees here, and so it's not unusual to encounter them while walking, sitting outside, or sometimes eating outdoors, especially in places where there are trash cans. I don't like using chemicals, but I have learned that if I don't use pest control chemicals here, there will be cockroaches, and I'd rather ingest the chemicals than live with bugs. One thing that really freaks me out about the big ones is that they fly. I was renting a house one time down here that had been unoccupied for a while. The leaves had collected around the base of the house, and when we moved in and cleaned the leaves away, the roaches moved inside. I literally felt as if I was under invasion. I was home alone, and they swooped in and were flying all over the place. I went to a hotel and called pest control to bomb the place. I know I can't be the only one who doesn't like cockroaches. I don't know if I have an actual phobia, but if not, I think I'm pretty close to that line.