Thursday, June 13, 2024

What Is The Phobia Of Bugs

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How Does Entomophobia Affect A Persons Life

Insects are a part of everyday life. It is very rare for a person to go through a day without seeing an insect. Whether it is mosquitos, flies, moths, ants or fruit flies, insects constantly pass through the average person’s sight.

Most of these insects are harmful, but people with Entomophobia may struggle to control their anxieties around them. This makes them reluctant to go to places they do not know well. It also makes seasons like summer and monsoon very difficult to tolerate.

The sound of crickets and cicadas can become very upsetting for someone with a phobia of insects. They will constantly request that someone find and chase the cricket away, sometimes fearing to do even that because they are afraid that the insect will hurt people important to them.

The constant, near yet far sound of an insect can influence a mutated imagination of the insect that is making it. A person with the fear of bugs phobia might picture large, sharp-looking pincers and dangerous stings in their imagination, attributing them to the insect that is making it.

Other Types Of Phobias

Delusory parasitosis is the erroneous belief that the body is infested with invisible bugs, mites, worms or other parasites. This phobia is also called Ekbom Syndrome and someone suffering with Ekbom Syndrome feels the phobia causing infestation is very real and this feeling may lead them to poke and prod into their skin with fingernails, scissors, tweezers or knives to find and remove their invisible tormentors. They also typically seek help from numerous professionals, first visiting a general practitioner and later seeking second opinions from specialists such as dermatologists, mental health professionals or veterinarians. Eventually, they may contact an entomologists, their public health department, an or infectious disease specialist or their pest management specialist to identify their “parasite”, which usually in fact doesn’t exist.

Arachnophobia – a related to the extreme fear of spiders and  , and other eight-legged arachnids.

Chilopodophobia – a phobia related to the extreme fear of

Katsaridaphobia – a phobia related to the extreme fear of

Myriopodophobia – a phobia related to the extreme fear of

Ophidiophobia – a phobia related to the extreme fear of snakes

Musophobia – a phobia related to the extreme fear of mice and rats

Scoleciphobia – a phobia related to the extreme fear of worms


Entomophobia And Arachnophobia Among School

1Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2Department of Epidemiology, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of Health, Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

How to Cite:Shahriari-NamadiM, TabatabaeiH R, SoltaniA. Entomophobia and Arachnophobia Among School-Age Children: A Psychological Approach,Shiraz E-Med J.2018; 19:e64824. doi: 10.5812/semj.64824.


Shiraz E-Medical Journal:Article Type:

Recovery From Entomophobia Or Fear Of Bugs & Insects

The time that you will need to recover from entomophobia or fear of bugs & insects depends on the type of treatment or therapy you are going under. The doctor will be able to help you answer to your queries like how long will the treatment take and if there are any chances of reoccurrences of the phobia.

Desensitization Or Exposure Therapy For Treating Entomophobia Or Fear Of Bugs & Insects

Tampa Pest Removal Experts Discuss Common Insect Phobias

The therapy of desensitization or exposure therapy for treating entomophobia or fear of bugs & insects helps is getting over the fear by exposing the patient to the object of fear. For example first images of insects are shown so that the patient can work on his or her anxiety level and bring it down. Slowly as the patient starts believing that not all insects are harmful, he or she is exposed to a garden where he or she can come in contact with flies or bugs.

Getting Over Your Fear Starts With Knowing More

Conquering your phobia, no matter its source, takes time, dedication and a commitment to educating yourself. And a pest control analogy helps to illustrate how. The more you, as a homeowner, know about the behavior of termites, the better prepared you are to defend your home against the damage they can do. Likewise, if you are willing to investigate what is causing your entomophobia, you’ve already begun to take the kind of initiative you need to put bugs in their place. 

Do I Have A Phobia Of Bugs

While some people do like insects, a reaction ranging from avoidance to extreme revulsion is much more common. Still, a dislike – even when intense – is very different than a true phobia.

Symptoms of an insect phobia include, but are not limited to:

  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to function in the presence of the insect
  • Extreme methods to avoid insects
  • Fast heart rate
  • Anopheliphobia– Fear of mosquitoes
  • Spheksophobia– Fear of wasps

Arachnophobia is probably the most well-known of these terms. While spiders are not technically insects, for the purposes of this topic it makes sense to include them.

Insect phobias in general or for specific insects can be treated through exposure therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy , medication or a combination thereof.

Hypnotherapy In Treatment Of Entomophobia

This is a much more relaxed approach to treating phobia since it focuses on identifying the root cause of a person’s Entomophobia.

After finding out the causes, the therapy then helps the patient desensitize themselves from the traumatic experience. This helps reduce the immediate fear because they realize that the experiences were one-off incidents and that insects aren’t out to get them.

Hypnotherapy can also be used alongside Cognitive Behavioral Therapy since a combined approach is capable of increasing the speed of the treatment.

Entomophobia: Why You May Be Afraid Of Bugs

Does the mere mention of the word “bug” summon images of creepy crawlers?


Does the sight of a scurrying across your kitchen floor fill you with dread? When you travel, do you obsess over the possibility that the hotel or resort where you’re staying may be infested with bed bugs? Do you find yourself breaking out in a cold sweat as soon as you detect the telltale buzzing of some flying insect? Does the mere mention of the word “bug” summon images of creepy crawlers?Friends and family may tease, and some may even accuse you of being a wimp. Embarrassment only compounds the problem. Why should something so insignificant creep you out so much? After all, most bugs are relatively harmless and are easily dispatched with a well-timed stomp or expertly aimed shot of insecticide. Besides, many bugs are actually beneficial. Who can imagine a garden without ladybugs and , or a summer night without fireflies and crickets?

Fear Of Bugs And Spiders

Many children’s fears are natural and tend to develop at specific ages. For example, many children have a fear of the dark and have trouble sleeping at night but this fear generally passes with time as they develop and ‘grow out of it’. However, sometimes children experience intense fear that does not pass with time and begins to affect the child’s normal development and daily functioning.

A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder where there is an intense fear of a specific situation or object that in reality poses little or no actual danger. A common phobia in children is a phobia of animals, such as snakes, spiders, insects/bugs, rodents, and dogs.

Children with a phobia of bugs and spiders will attempt to avoid most or all situations where there is a high chance of finding bugs or spiders or where they have come across these creatures in the past . This fear may negatively affect their development and daily functioning. The presence of, or even pictures of bugs or spiders, may generate great distress for the child, and they may seek constant reassurance through repetitive questioning about the whereabouts of the bug or spider, or their own safety.


How Is Entomophobia Treated

The goal of treatment is to stop your phobia from interfering with your quality of life by teaching you to manage your reactions to insects.

Entomophobia and other phobias are treated with psychotherapy. Your doctor may recommend more than one type of therapy. Medication may also be prescribed.

Treatment for entomophobia may include:

Difference Between Delusion & Phobia

Two different conditions are recognized that relate to anexcessive fear of arthropods like insects and spiders. Entomophobia refers to an unreasonable fear of real arthropods. The key here is that the fear involves a real stimulus such as an insect or spider, encountered in everyday activities. For example, a spider might trigger this intense fear. The good news is that entomophobia is highly treatable and generally only a significant concern if it limits someone’s everyday activities.

On the other hand, there’s a much more serious condition called delusions of parasitosis , which causes a severe and debilitating reaction to an imagined infestation. In general delusions are false beliefs and in this case the person believes, wrongly, that they are infested with an insect or mite, or that they are being repeatedly bitten .

A harmlessgarden spider can provoke irrational fear in some people.

All such complaints should at least initially be investigated with the underlying assumption that areal arthropod infestation is present. There are a number of insects and mites that can cause real skin reactions and lesions . For example, bird/rodent/nest mites cause bites that can be very difficult to diagnose . The following signs, however, are indicative of imagined infestations in my experience:

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Another Way To Treat Entomophobia Or Fear Of Bugs & Insects Is By Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Or Cbt

Entomophobia: Methods for Overcoming Entomophobia ...

Here the patient with entomophobia or fear of bugs & insects is exposed to insects or bugs under controlled conditions. The cognitive behavioural therapy also helps the patient to learn that the fear is irrational and he or she can control the fear. Also negative thoughts are changes unto positive ones.

What Are Other Types Of Phobias

Simple phobias are not limited to animals and insects. Other types of simple phobias include fear of environmental elements, such as storms, heights or bodies of water; fear of needles or injections; fear of specific situations such as elevators, tunnels, bridges or flying; or fear of germs or getting ill.

The Most Effective Treatment

Reviews of randomized control trials for more than 50 years have shown that cognitive behavior therapy works well for most anxiety problems and disorders and is the most effective treatment for phobias. Although CBT has been around since the 1960s, it remains poorly understood by the general public and even by patients seeking psychological help.

The main component of CBT for phobias is exposure therapy — learning to approach rather than avoid insects, for example, and other feared objects or situations. Patients progress through imagining insects, watching images of them, playing with toy insects, visiting areas with a lot of insects and finally touching the insects.

Patients are never forced to do anything they don’t want to do, and their therapist is right there with them, engaging in the same exposures, modeling, coaching, encouraging and cheerleading. Exposure therapy can be accomplished only in the context of a strong, collaborative therapeutic relationship.

Although the exposure principles are conceptually simple, it takes a skilled, experienced therapist to put them into practice, tailoring the approach to each patient’s needs.

Through exposures, we can also test our irrational or unhelpful thinking patterns that provide fertile ground for anxiety.

What Are The Consequences Of Phobia Of Bugs

This condition affects day to day life. Life becomes difficult due to fear in the affected person. The of Phobia of bugs are:

  • The person tries to avoid public places.
  • The person tries to avoid travel by vehicles.
  • Affected people may stop mixing with other people and friends.
  • The person may lose self confidence because of fear.
  • The affected person may try to avoid jobs where he/she comes in contact with large objects and machineries.

Why Do I Fear Bugs

What causes a fear of bugs is a question scientists, psychiatrists, and average people have all asked – but no single answer has been named. Instead, experts believe one of a few factors trigger the fear.

First, insects can be dangerous. From the diseases carried by mosquitoes to allergic reaction-inducing stings, some insects can quite literally kill you. Even a non-venomous bite can kill if it causes certain infections, such as those from spiders that cause necrotic or flesh-eating infections. Researchers believe that the primary reason for insect phobias, much like snake phobias, is a learned evolutionary response to protect us from harm.

However, this aspect of insect phobia is not universal or can vary according to the type of insect. In some parts of the world, certain insects are viewed as a food source, so the reaction can be neutral or even positive.

Second, some researchers believe that some people’s brains confuse extreme disgust with fear. This fear can overlap with fear of infestation and can be especially true for insects like cockroaches. Extreme disgust for certain items, like rotten food or feces, is also believed to be an evolutionary response because exposure to such things can make you sick. Similarly, cockroaches are attracted by both regular and rotten food, as well as other filth, further blurring the line.

Worried About The Buzz Dealing With Cicada Anxiety

Much of the eastern U.S. is about to experience one of the most fascinating natural phenomena in the animal world: the emergence of Brood X periodical cicadas. After living underground and feeding on tree sap for 17 years, billions of these insects are expected to emerge simultaneously around early May. And, as the amorous males sing loudly from trees in hopes of finding a mate, the sound will be impossible to miss. For many people, this natural event brings feelings ranging from mild distress to full-blown panic.

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 5 to 12 percent of Americans have phobias, and around 7 to 9 percent of children have a specific phobia, such as Entomophobia ? a fear of insects. “Entomophobia is one of the most common phobias and involves intense fear,” says Diane Mushaben, MA, LPCC-S, a specialty treatment coordinator with TriHealth EAP. “However, even those who do not experience this phobia of insects may find the sudden appearance of billions of cicadas alarming.”

Mushaben assures that the arrival of Brood X does not have to be a source of distress and offers the below tips for managing Cicada-related anxiety:

How To Help A Child Cope With Lepidopterophobia

Animal phobias typically occur during childhood and are more intense in younger people.

Children may express their fear by crying, throwing a tantrum, freezing up, or clinging to a parental figure.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, if your child shows signs of having a phobia, you can do the following:

  • Talk to your child about their anxieties and help them understand that many children experience fears, but that you can work together to get through them.
  • Don’t demean or ridicule them. It can create resentment and won’t promote a trusting environment.
  • Reassure and support your child through coping.
  • Don’t force bravery on them. It can take some time for your child to overcome their phobia. It’s not a good idea to try to force them into being brave. You should instead encourage progress.

A phobia can be severe and last a lifetime if untreated. It’s a good idea to start by seeing your child’s pediatrician if you believe they’re experiencing phobia symptoms.

Whats The Difference Between Ekbloms Syndrome And Entomophobia

The fear of insects crawling on your skin is called Ekblom’s syndrome. It causes the belief that the patient’s skin is bug-infested and can culminate in self-mutilation to eliminate the infestation.

On the contrary, entomophobia is simply the fear of bugs.

Through gradual and regular exposure to insects, patients can eradicate this phobia.

Bug Phobia: Help Your Child Overcome The War On Bugs

real dead insect. phobia. (With images)

Tens of thousands of people are diagnosed with entomophobia every year. For the uninitiated, that’s a fancy term that means having an irrational fear of bugs.

While bugs, even to nonphobia sufferers can be scary, it’s important to understand that most are harmless and unworthy of the level of negative attention your child may be giving them. Therein lies the purpose of this post.

Below, our team lays out various strategies you can incorporate into your child’s life that may help them beat their bug phobia once and for all. Keep reading to start improving the quality of your loved one’s life!

Face the Fear

There is an endless number of ways people suggest you can beat phobias. While several of those strategies are effective, we’ve yet to find anything more helpful than controlled exposure to the root of one’s anxiety.

If you’re going to experiment with exposure to phobia-inducing stimuli, do so under the supervision of a psychological professional, if possible.

Change Associations

Chances are, whenever your child thinks of bugs, their body automatically has a negative response. By training your child to instead have a positive response, they may be able to overcome their fears.

Reconditioning associations entails exposing yourself to something you dislike and then disrupting your knee-jerk negative response by doing something positive. That might be seeing a bug and choosing to do a cartwheel rather than screaming or running away.


Get Professional Help

Helping Children With Their Phobias

Specific phobias, including insectophobia, are common in children and adolescents. Cognitive behavior therapy with children is similar to CBT with adults, but there are some differences.

“With children, I start by editing the story that a mind is telling you — that bugs are, for example, our enemies who want to hurt us — to a new story that says that you might not be fond of bugs, but they’re just doing their bug thing, and you can live with them,” said Tamar E. Chansky, a clinical psychologist in Philadelphia and the author of “” and “.”

“We write down fears and predictions and then fact-check them based on what we learn about bugs. And we always give them silly names,” Chansky said.

Veronica L. Raggi, a clinical psychologist in Chevy Chase, Md., and author of “” said, “We make it as fun as possible, doing exposures aided by goal charts, and a salient reward system.”

When children see the exposure treatment as a game, they are more likely to participate, she said. Small successes and positive experiences build over time as children develop confidence and pride. Rewards for accomplishing exposure goals can further increase motivation.

“Caregivers sometimes just need permission to nudge — but never force — their kids, to figure out where ‘yes’ is,” Chansky said.

She suggests setting up a courage challenge in May and June: “Let’s see who can get closer to cicadas and discover everything about them!”

Do I Have Entomophobia

Where is the line between disliking or being creeped out by insects versus actually having entomophobia? The make the difference. Casual or non-phobic dislike means you avoid them when you can, looking away, and other mild reactions. Even making a sound when startled by one or a brief shiver reaction might still be associated with normal revulsion or dislike.

What Causes A Phobia Of Insects

Although there isn’t a specific “trigger” to cause a phobia, there are some ideas as to how they can start. Sometimes an ugly experience with a bug, such as being stung, can spark a phobia within someone. Memories of the pain or the oddity of the situation can keep the phobia alive. Parents also have a large impact on what their children fear. If a parent continually shows fear whenever they see a bug, the child will believe that the bug will harm them, causing anxiety.

What Are The Merits Of Vr Over In

VR exposure therapy can be conducted from any part of the world using appropriate tools, while IVE can cause issues where transport is unreliable. People with mobility concerns such as obesity and paralysis can efficiently utilize VR since it has fewer problems ethical than IVE.

VR also motivates patients through in-game awards, high scores, and ranks. From the high scores and game’s data, our therapists can evaluate progression and chart patient’s performance for improved inspiration.

How To Overcome The Fear Of Bugs And Insects

Entomophobia is a condition that can be fully reversed through combinations of therapy, medication and strong support from friends and family. Phobia of insect treatment is generally done through psychotherapy and hypnotherapy.

The two have been regularly used in the treatment of phobias in general as they are the most well-suited approaches to treatment so far.

The therapy is usually enough by itself, but those with extreme Entomophobia may require medication to stabilize their anxiety so that they can continue with their therapy and make progress.

Tests To Diagnose Entomophobia Or Fear Of Bugs & Insects

Though there are no proper tests for identifying a specific phobia and the doctors take help of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which was published by the American Psychiatric Association to verify the various criteria for identifying entomophobia or fear of bugs & insects. The manual also suggest the type of treatments that can be applied on the patient. In the therapy sessions you will be asked various questions and your reaction shall be observed to determine the phobia. Your medical and psychological history and the same of the family will help the doctors in the identification process too.

The basic criteria which help to diagnose the entomophobia or fear of bugs & insects are:

  • The feeling of intense fear and irritation when the patient notices an insect or a bug or even sees a picture of the same.
  • Getting scared even at the thought of the insect.
  • Avoiding encounters with any kind of bugs or even avoiding looking at pictures of insect.
  • Avoiding all kind of social activities that takes place outside so that the patient can avoid noticing any insect. When the bug comes near the patient, he or she gets very distressed while trying to tolerate the exposure
  • The symptoms of the phobia are continuing for more than 6 months.

Phobia Of Bugs: Entomophobia

Dr Yatin Bhole, Paediatrician

In day to day life we see people who are afraid of certain things. In this blogpost we will discuss an interesting condition called Phobia of bugs .

Fear is a natural reaction that produces the action of flight. Fear is rational and it makes life possible keeping you away from dangerous things. Imagine if you are not afraid of fire and jump into fire. Sure, you will die or get burn injuries on your body.

Table of Contents

How Do You Treat Lepidopterophobia

Understanding Entomophobia AKA the Fear of Bugs

There are several treatments available for phobias that are highly effective. When treating a phobia, the first step is to address why you have the fear and go from there.

Depending on the severity of the phobia and willingness to work at it, treatment can take weeks, months, or longer. If left untreated, insect phobias like lepidopterophobia can continue for .

Understanding The Fear Of Insects Or Entomophobia

Steven Gans, MD

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Entomophobia, sometimes known as insectophobia, is the fear of insects. The fear is relatively common in the US, particularly in urban areas where coming into contact with bugs is relatively infrequent because of the lack of interaction with nature.

Urban dwellers’ fears of insects often serve as fodder for situation comedies and reality shows that depict their sudden transition to rural or island life. Many people who have never been exposed to country life can struggle because of the prevalence and pervasiveness of insects in living areas and public spaces.

Although they are not technically insects, the fear of spiders is one of the most prevalent form of entomophobia.?? Other commonly feared bugs include , ants, cockroaches, flies, and butterflies and moths. Many people fear “bugs” in general, reacting in panic to any insect or related creature that crosses their path.

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