If creepy crawlies like bed bugs, ants, roaches, beetles, earwigs, etc make you break out in goosebumps, you probably suffer from Entomophobia. You can reduce your anxiety and fear associated with entomophobia by reducing the presence of these insects in and around your home. Some people have a fear of specific insects like arachnophobia, scolopendra phobia, or chilopodophobia. Regardless of which insect you fear, you can overcome this fear at the earliest possible. Let’s first understand what it is and then go on to how to overcome this fear.
What Is Insect Phobia?
While several factors contribute to the fear of insects, it is inherited in most cases. If you saw either of your parents getting freaked out each time they spotted a spider or a cockroach, there is a good chance that you may adopt the same behavior as you grow up. Some people tend to fear insects whether they experience a traumatic incident like getting stung or bitten. Another reason why you might be afraid of insects is that you have been reading too much about it. Some people tend to read different articles about how insects crawl into ears when people sleep and apply these worst-case scenarios to themselves. Fortunately, the fear of insects can be avoided simply by reducing your chance of having an encounter with an insect.
Many people suffer from extreme cases of entomophobia. They find it extremely difficult to travel to a hotel or resort as they are obsessed with the possibility of bedbugs. Some people even find it difficult to step out of their homes due to entomophobia. Although friends and family might advise you to get over it, it is important to get to the root of the problem. Finding out the reason behind your fear will help you realize that bugs and insects are relatively harmless. It can help you understand that they are vulnerable and can be killed with a well-timed stomp or even a well-aimed shot of insecticide. Even though many insects are pesky creatures, there are several insects that are beneficial. Try imagining a garden devoid of any butterflies, ladybugs, or fireflies. It seems a bit dull, doesn’t it?
Living With Entomophobia
If your fear of insects prevents you from living your life, you are probably suffering from entomophobia. Like other phobias, entomophobia also needs to be taken seriously. Rather than mocking people who suffer from entomophobia, one needs to respect the distress they experience in relation to insects. Some people have a bad case of entomophobia where they start trembling at the mere mention of an insect. This often causes them to develop obsessive-compulsive behaviors like keeping their surroundings clean and safe at all times. Some other phobias related to entomophobia include apiphobia (fear of bees), arachnophobia (fear of spiders), acrophobia (fear of tiny, crawling insects like mites and ticks). Even Harry Potter wasn’t spared! In the movie, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets he wasn’t able to think straight after running into an unusually large spider.
Overcoming Fear Of Insects
If the fear of insects is preventing you from living your life, it is essential to seek treatment for the phobia. Experienced therapists can introduce you to various techniques to help you overcome your fear. However, the success of the treatment often depends on how deep-rooted your fear is as well.
You can begin by avoiding insects in the first place. In order to keep your home free of any insect or pest, you will need to ensure that you keep it clean and hygienic at all times. There is more here on how to get rid of these creepy creatures if they find a way into your home. You can take the help of professionals to deal with pest control. With year-round pest protection, you can be guaranteed that no pest dares to enter your home and flare up our entomophobia. With the right pest control services, you will not have to worry about any of these crawly insects in your home. If you have young kids or pets, it is a good idea to keep them out of the way when pest control comes for their routine check-ups.
Therapy & Treatment
In order for the treatment to work out, the therapist will ask you a number of leading questions to get to the root of your phobia. Establishing the origin of your phobia will help determine which tool will work well to alleviate the symptoms of your phobia. One form of treatment is exposure therapy. This involves introducing the patient to the source of their phobia gradually. This is done under close supervision.
In order to help you overcome entomophobia, the therapist will ask you to create a fear hierarchy chart. At the bottom of the chart, you will be asked to place the least frightening visual like an ant anthill in your garden or a picture of a bedbug in an insecticide advertisement. As you move up the chart, you will be asked to establish a greater intimacy with insects like letting an earwig sit on your palm or move across your arm. This helps you face your fears slowly under the watchful eye of the therapist. This form of systematic desensitization helps patients understand the reason behind their fear. It also helps the patient understand which responses to the source of fear are incompatible. People who complete systematic desensitization successfully often feel more independent and have better self-esteem than when they started the program.
Conquering any form of fear includes educating yourself. Understanding the behavior of different pests will help you overcome your fear. For example, take a closer look at ants. Although they are classified as ants, they are not very terrifying. They form colonies and have a complex social life that is also marvelous to observe. Educating yourself more about this creature will help you come to terms and help you fear it less. Knowing more about these pests will also help you protect your home better.
In the end, overcoming your fear of insects lies within you. You can stop giving in to the fear and learn how to manage your worries with professional therapists and pest control services.