Fy, en fästing!

Äckel i kroppsliga och affektiva möten mellan fästing, sällskapsdjur och människa


  • Sanna Lillbroända-Annala Åbo Akademi


fästing, äckel, kropp, affekt, tick, disgust, body, affect


This article focuses on why ticks evoke disgust and how this strong emotion makes us react and act in different ways. By feeding on us and our companion animals ticks cross the line of privacy and intimacy. By focusing on what disgust as an emotion does, it is possible to detect and analyze affective responses related to body and space. The strong emotional reactions caused by ticks create imbalance and loss of control in our everyday lives. In the efforts of re-creating order and control various practices are activated. These practices become ritualized, reoccurring routines during the tick season that last from early Spring until late Autumn. The practices also involve order-inducing behavior and distancing practices to keep the body and the space around us tick-free. The approach to ticks is anthropocentric, where the human body is protected against ticks while the body of the tick is subjected to violent and morbid treatment.  

The research material for this article consists of questionnaires and media material, through which an in-depth understanding of the relationship of humans, ticks and companion animals can be reached. This article can be seen as a contribution to the research field of Human-Animal Studies by raising questions about how humans relate to animals and how interspecies relationships are built. The affective responses to ticks create tensions, conflicts and boundaries between humans and non-humans. Disgust is culturally constructed and driven, and we learn to avoid the dangerous and the unknown. The lack of a certain tick charisma equalizes ticks with so called trash animals and invasive species, who are neither considered belonging in nature or culture. Therefore, the question of ticks as disgusting is not merely a question of an emotional reaction and what this emotion does with us. Instead, the question brings forth existential and societal dilemmas about the influence, power and responsibility of humans in multispecies relations. 




Referera så här

Lillbroända-Annala, S. (2022). Fy, en fästing! Äckel i kroppsliga och affektiva möten mellan fästing, sällskapsdjur och människa. Budkavlen, 101, 82–104. Hämtad från https://journal.fi/budkavlen/article/view/115761