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Do You Have Entomophobia?Posted May 12, 2022

When does a dislike of insects turn into a fear of insects also known as entomophobia or insectophobia? That’s just one of many common questions people have about insects and the revulsion they often trigger.

Phobias of any kind are more than just agitation around or intense dislike. In medical literature, entomophobia is defined as “an abnormal and persistent fear of insects.”

Older texts sometimes use the term “irrational fear” instead… but that’s not a fair assessment for anyone whose phobia exists because they have an allergy – in which the bite or sting of a specific insect could be dangerous or even fatal. In such a case, the fear of insects is completely rational and understandable. For some people, that fear turns into a general phobia of insects instead of just the one.

Do I Have Entomophobia?

That depends upon the symptoms you experience when exposed to a particular insect or insects in general, and how severe those symptoms are. Jumping, yelping, or being surprised by the sudden, close appearance of an insect doesn’t indicate a fear of insects. It might just be a startle reaction.

However, a combination of these symptoms can indicate a phobia:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Panic attack
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Dizziness
  • Crying
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle weakness

Not all of these symptoms need to be present for a genuine phobia of insects. Only a few are necessary, especially if the symptoms are severe.

What Insects Do People Fear the Most?

Spiders are technically arachnidsnot insects. Despite that, spiders are commonly included on lists of most feared insects and often at (or near) the very top.

Similarly, “Daddy Long Legs” is a term applied to a few different creatures. One is an arachnid but not a spider, another is a long-legged fly, and the last is a type of spider. Lists of most feared insects don’t usually distinguish among the type of creature it really is.

The list of most feared insects varies slightly in ranking according to where the question is asked and when. Despite variables, the most commonly feared insects typically include:

  • Spiders
  • Daddy long-legs
  • Bees and wasps
  • Moths
  • Ants
  • Flies
  • Cockroaches
  • Crickets
  • Mosquitoes
  • And bed bugs.

How Common Is Entomophobia?

Fear of insects, or entomophobia, is very common in the U.S. – especially among those who live in a city. The theory goes that since people who live in the city are exposed to nature less often, insects are considered more disturbing. Fear of insects can often go with other phobias, such as fear of filth, contamination, or infestations.

What Causes Fear of Insects?

A casual aversion to or dislike of insects typically turns into an actual phobia due to one of four reasons: a traumatic experience, a parent imprinting their phobia onto their child, traumatic brain injuries, and genetics. A negative or traumatic experience is the most common cause.

Genetics sounds (on the surface) like an odd cause for a fear of insects. However, a study indicates that anxiety disorders can be genetic, and with them comes a tendency toward phobias. It’s then just a question of what specific thing or experience triggers a phobia. 

Call Fox Pest Control For Peace of Mind

Whether you just find bugs creepy or have a full-blown phobia of a particular insect or them in general, you don’t have to suffer. Fox Pest Control can identify any pests or insect problems you have, explain the plan to eliminate them and provide the peace of mind you need. Contact Fox Pest Control today, and we can eliminate insects before you even see the problem.

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