What is your initial reaction when you see a bug? What is your reaction when you see a bug that you really hate? What is your reaction when you see a bug that you are afraid of?
We all might be aware that arachnophobia is the fear of spiders. I think we all are freaked out by spiders at some level. The fear of insects actually has two defined names. Entomophobia and Insectophobia would classify someone as the fear of insects. There are many social phobias we use in common vernacular. There is also an interesting list of specific phobias directed towards actions and things which will set people into a panic attack, screaming, running, or some level of nausea. We thought it’d be interesting to look at some of the crazy bug phobias (and pest) that are out there.
Apiphobia – The fear of bees. Not hard to imagine why many people freak around bees. The idea of getting stung is not pleasant. If someone were to be allergic to a sting then it could be life threatening. However, most people do not have panic attacks triggered by bees. There is Cnidophobia which is the fear of stings, which could be associated to bees. It is, however, a more general phobia that can also be associated with getting a shot, for example.
Batrachophobia – The fear of amphibians, frogs, salamanders, newts, etc. Not entirely sure how this phobia comes to be. Most amphibian type pests (except frogs who seem to be everywhere when you do not want them) run from you so fast it is hard to imagine that they are threatening. Fears though are rarely rational.
Herpetophobia – The fear of reptiles and/or creepy crawly things. If someone panics or gets nauseous watching the Gieko gecko commercials then it is possible that they might have some level of herpetophobia. This phobia can encompass a fear of snakes, which I am not terribly fond of either. Ophidiophobia is the term for a fear of snakes. So if someone were to be afraid of snakes, but love frogs and salamanders then you can say they might have ophidiophobia.
Chiroptophobia – The fear of bats. Let’s be honest, who is really happy to see a bunch of bats. Maybe a few scientists. That is all we can think of. Bats have some really great functions in our environment flying around in the darkness and eating up bugs we do not care for. It might just be that they are not soft and cuddly or their, perceived, erratic behavior that keeps us from loving these creatures. Could also be that vampire stuff freaks us out as well.
Isopterophobia – The fear of termites. Not to be confused with eisoptrophobia, the fear of reflections. Isopterophobia would be a specific phobia that is triggered when someone sees termites, or insects that resemble termites (maybe carpenter ants).
Mottephobia & Lepidopterophobia – The fear of moths and butterflies. Motte is German for moth. These fears can encompass both moths and butterflies. Nicole Kidman is said to have this phobia. Usually this is a child’s fear which goes away over time when they realize that these insects do no harm to you. However, it can keep hanging around into adulthood.
Musophobia – The fear of mice. Most people I know jump and scream when they see a mouse. As with these other specific phobias, if a person gets into a panic attack or falls completely nauseous then they could have some variant of musophobia. Rats can also be lumped into this fear. Let’s face it, someone who is fearful of a mouse will not get close to enough to examine if it is a rat in order to dispel their fear. It is a four legged & long tailed rodent that scurries across the floor.
Ornithophobia – A fear of birds. Unless you are in an Alfred Hitchcock movie then I am not sure what there is to fear about birds. Again, fears are not always rational. If you have a child that is afraid of birds then slowly approaching, drawing, and showing photos of birds can help to progress their removal of that fear. Would be really tough to live with this fear for the rest of your life.
Zemmiphobia – The fear of the great mole rat. You might be asking, “What is a great mole rat?” Mole rats come from the rat family but behave in more of a mole fashion. They will reside underground and live in colonies with other mole rats. The dig their tunnels and would generally be confused for a mole. Big differences are the mole rat does not have the same nose features (usually a nice set of teeth) and front paws are more traditional in look, versus the scoop paws of a mole. You will hear more and more about the ‘naked mole rat’ as they are examining this animal as a means of cancer prevention, no lie.