Psychically, insects can appear in dreams as some kind of threat. This is one reason why they are often used in psychological thrillers and science fiction. Some form of spiritual ?infection? may have taken place. Fleas are symbolic of the type of disruption that is likely to hurt, rather than destroy, such as gossip. A mantis represents deviousness, particularly of a spiritual kind. It is that Trickster part of us that can create problems when things are effectively working out for us; it is that aspect of our personality which perhaps preys on the other parts and will not take its place within our overall integration. More positively, insects such as ants can appear in dreams as reminders of instinctive behaviour. Insects tend to signify negative feelings and link us to primal instinctive behaviour, that of survival against all odds. In dreams, we often translate a quality or a situation we are struggling with into an object such as an insect; psychologically, insects can represent feelings we would rather do without. This could be something niggling at our consciences, or guilt. We may additionally be aware that we are not being treated properly and that people who should be our friends are not being fair. To be aware of a predatory insect such as a mantis may indicate that we are conscious of trickery around us. Whatever threatens us does so on a very basic level, and we may have no defences, except those of our own nature. Insects in dreams can reflect the feeling that something is irritating or bugging us. They may also indicate our feelings of insignificance and powerlessness and it will depend on the particular insect in the dream as to the interpretation. Thus, a wasp might indicate danger, whereas a beetle could mean either dirt or protection. Fleas are an irritation; there may be people or situations in our lives that are causing us difficulty, or that we feel are being parasites, and we need to go through a process of decontamination in order to be free. Flies are always associated with something nasty, which does not allow for the fact that they also devour rotten material, and thus are cleansing. So to dream of flies is to be aware that we have certain negative aspects of our lives that need dealing with. To dream of a swarm of flies indicates the deliberate intention of a large group of individuals. Where one insect may appear to be moving aimlessly, large numbers do not. Often we can only succeed in changing matters by group behaviour. As with most insects, the mantis often represents something devious within our lives.