Entomophobia (Insectophobia)

Entomophobia, also known as insectophobia is the persistent fear of insects which can cause emotional and physical distress. Some of the most common feared insects are spiders (Arachnophobia), wasps and bees, cockroaches, crickets, mosquitoes and bed bugs.

Spider eating a fly

The fear of insects or specific bugs can be caused by lack of interaction with nature and exposure to insects, or the total opposite where one has a traumatic experience with encountering an insect in the past. Our experiences create a knowledge base in our mind which helps guide our future behaviour when in similar situations. You don’t always need to have first-hand experience as observational learning is just as important. Imagine speaking to a friend whose house was manifested with bed bugs and due to the bites they developed allergic reactions and experienced persistent itching. Hearing your friends’ experience, and seeing the marks on their skin can create mild anxiety and the fear of bed bugs when in fact you have never experienced such a scenario.

The persistent fear of insects can have detrimental effects on daily habits and social life. Anxious thoughts of being bitten can be enough to prevent you from going outdoors and creating a generalised anxiety due to the thought of encountering an insect. Irrational belief and the idea of being exposed to an insect is enough to generate unrealistic fear. Knowing that most bugs don’t pose imminent danger isn’t enough to remain calm.

Anxious person

Physical symptoms

Most common symptoms of insectophobia include:

Extreme itching
Sensation of an insect crawling on ones skin
Increased heart rate and sweating
Dry mouth
Panic attacks
Crying and outpour of emotions

Coping with entomophobia

Speaking about emotional distress and discomfort can be very difficult due to the negative stigma around mental health or simply feeling alone and helpless. There are online resources, self help materials and guides to professional support if you feel like your fears are causing you discomfort. Fearing the unknown is normal and that’s why our experts are here to attack insects in your home or office, as well as sharing knowledge and expertise by providing you with information about different insects that make the hair at the back of your neck stand up. If you wish to speak to one of our experts, please contact us.