Does the thought of encountering insects give you a morbid sense of fear? If so, you might have entomophobia. Entomophobia is a persistent dread of one or more classes of insects. Entomophobic people actively avoid any means to come in contact with insects.
Getting exterminators and pest control services to rid your house of these insects is very important. Although some of these insects are harmless, some others, like cockroaches and mosquitoes, spread diseases. Bedbug bites can also cause severe allergic reactions and secondary infections.
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Common Insects People Fear
The fear of cockroaches is known as Katsaridaphobia. This fear can be due to their disease-spreading ability, longevity, and the types of things they eat.
The fear of bugs affects about 6% of the US population. Ticks are the most particularly feared insects among the bug category because they transfer Lyme disease. The fear of going out and an overwhelming itch is usually a symptom of entomophobia.
The fear of crickets is called orthopterophobia. You experience a dread of crickets and locusts, leading to anxiety and intense worry.
Myrmecophobia is the fear of ants. Some ants sting. They can also contaminate food. This can be because of fear.
Fear of spiders is called arachnophobia. This phobia has been attributed to past traumatic experiences and a family history of anxiety. Females are more likely to develop arachnophobia.
- Crane flies
Although they do not bite or sting, tipulophobia or the fear of crane flies also causes intense feelings of anxiety. This fear has been attributed to their shape.
- Wasps and bees
Melissophobia, which is the fear of wasps and bees, might seem logical as these insects can sting. But as they are usually unaggressive, an overwhelming fear of them is irrational.
How Does a Dislike for Insects Differ From Entomophobia?
Entomophobic people feel intensely anxious immediately when they think of or see an insect. This anxiety worsens as the insect comes closer and they are unable to stop the dread they feel.
Most people have a certain dislike for an insect or two and would have mild reactions when they come in contact with them. On the contrary, entomophobic people might suffer from a panic attack, hyperventilate, cry and even go dizzy when in contact with insects. Other physical reactions include
- Rapid heart rate
- Muscle weakness
If you have a combination of two or more of the above, you likely have entomophobia.
What Causes Entomophobia?
As with most phobias, entomophobia does not have a clear-cut reason. Experts have suggested traumatic brain injury, a negative experience, and genetics as possible causes.
Entomophobia becomes a health issue when it interferes with your normal daily activities. The treatment option for entomophobia is therapy. Exposure therapy and cognitive behavior therapy have proven successful in treating entomophobia.
People fear insects for a variety of reasons. Whatever might be the cause of your fear, practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques can prove helpful in treating your fear at home. Getting therapy by a licensed psychotherapist has also proven successful in its treatment.