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fear of insects

Common Pest And Insect Phobias

Being nervous around pests and insects is considered normal. The idea of them crawling around or on you can be quite disturbing. For example, the psychological effects of bed bugs is well known. However, some people experience more than just nerves. They experience what is referred to as a phobia. Most people define a phobia as an intense fear of something. When it comes to creepy crawlies, having insect phobias is called entomophobia.

The most common pests to have a phobia about include:

  • Spiders
  • Wasps
  • Flies
  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Ants
  • Moths
  • Cockroaches

How Insect Phobias Affect A Person

A phobia typically affects everyone differently. In most cases, however the feelings a phobia can be overwhelming unless you work hard to fight them. Some of the things that can happen when you have a phobia, include:

spider insect phobia
  • Freezing
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Avoidance
  • Choking sensations
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Panic attacks

What Happens When Someone Encounters An Insect?

Everyone reacts differently when they encounter an insect they have a phobia of, but the things in the list above are the most common symptoms. Typically, when someone encounters an insect that they have a phobia of, they retreat to basic instincts. Fight, flight, or freeze. Most choose the flight or freeze path, out of fear.

Some people do not need to even see their phobia insect to have a reaction. Some people have a reaction upon thinking about insects or seeing pictures of them.

What Causes Insect Phobias?

A lot of research has gone into determining the exact cause of phobias. Despite all of that research, we still don’t know exactly what causes them. Some phobias have been found to run in families.

ants crawling on hand

Others come from traumatic experiences, including living through a severe insect infestation. No matter how a person gets a phobia, getting over one can be extremely difficult.

Treating a Phobia

One of the most common ideas behind treating phobias is exposure to the feared thing. A lot of people believe that simple exposure can cure a phobia. In some cases, it can work. Some people need more than exposure to their phobias though. Professionals use varying types of therapy to treat phobia of insects. One of the most popular therapies for insect phobia treatment is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Phobias can be quite overwhelming for someone who suffers from one. That doesn’t mean that you can’t overcome them. Professionals can help you to overcome your phobias. And, if you are someone who can’t stand the sight of insects, getting a whole house London pest control treatment might work to ease your distress.


Sally has been writing on the subject of pest control for 4 years. She always carries out extensive and in depth research and always tries to bring you the most up to date, interesting topics.

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