Blog Fear Of Insects: Facts, Causes, Symptoms And More About Entomophobia.

Fear Of Insects: Facts, Causes, Symptoms And More About Entomophobia.

Have you experienced heebie-jeebies at the sight of creepy crawlers? I, for one, have never liked the sight of most bugs and find them to be terrifying. And this is not the greatest thing for someone who is fond of horror flicks. Some of the classics I remember have at least one special appearance by a bug or an insect.

From the 1976 classic Worms to the latest season of Stranger Things, creators have always used crawlers as a way to amplify the eeriness of the movie. It’s like they cannot make a movie without “casting” them.

But they forget that people with a fear of bugs cannot enjoy the whole experience. A person with entomophobia may experience several symptoms which are not really pleasant and can cause a lot of mental as well as emotional distress for them.

As the condition forms a part of mental health issues, it is best to seek professional help than self-diagnose/-medicate.


Entomophobia 101 

Entomophobia 101
Entomophobia 101

If you were one of those siblings or kids who would scare their siblings or friends using toy bugs, I should inform you that you definitely had your friends squirm at your sight. I remember a childhood friend who had an inexplicable fear of roaches. And like any normal friend group, she was teased for the same. Even at the mention of roaches, she would leap and run away from that area, making sure nothing was following them.

It was hard to confirm if she was lying at first for attention, but as we grew up together I found out that she was actually scared. She would call them “flying beasts” which was not really an apt name, but it made sense to her, so it makes sense to me.

“Why did God have to put wings on them? They don’t even live with the birds!” she would always end her rants with this line. And there is no fighting this logic.

She is not the only one with an irrational fear of bugs. Reports have shown that at least 10% of the adults in the United States. And that number only accounts for those in the US. It is difficult for people without this fear to realize that this is not something that people make-up. These are real issues that people experience.

So, without beating around the bush, let’s go ahead and delve into the chest of bugs…er, not a great way to transition into the next sessions, no?



The cause of a phobia can be a little difficult to generalize. However, as per leading psychologists, it is proposed that a traumatic experience with bugs is to blame. As per the NHS, phobias are a type of anxiety disorder that brings with it an overwhelming fear of objects, situations, animals or bugs.

A person’s chances of developing an anxiety disorder is heightened due to this fear. The experiences may have been stressful or traumatic, which has not allowed them to move on with their lives. Hindering their experience of a normal life.

The main categories of traumatic events that could have instilled this deep-seated fear are as follows:

  • Witnessing a severe reaction in someone close who was bitten by an insect.
  • Abuse
  • Witnessing violence with the use of bugs or insects
  • Prolonged illness due to the bite of an insect.

If you have been following all the seasons of Bridgerton, you would recall that Anthony was terrified of bees. The viewers could relate this to Anthony’s father- Edmund’s death due to a bee sting. Some people are allergic to bee stings as it triggers a severe reaction in the body.

These can vary from person to person. The experience can include anything from skin irritation to more pronounced implications such as closing of throat, difficulty in breathing.



If you think you or someone you know experiences entomophobia, it is best to know the signs and symptoms. The following list provides you with all the noted symptoms of this phobia:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Inability to control fear, despite knowing it is irrational.
  • Sweating a lot
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Tightness in the chest



The diagnosis of this phobia can be done by a professional who can conduct an in-depth analysis of the triggers and provide their opinion. An entomophobia test does not really exist, however, there are several helpful sites that can provide a questionnaire.

Even though we do not promote self-diagnosis, you may get a clear idea of the fear that you experience. If you have an idea of symptoms that are experienced by people with heart diseases, you would notice that it coincides with a few symptoms of entomophobia. The following tools are often employed by experts to diagnose the fear of insects in you:

  • They need to rule out that your symptoms are not due to a heart disease or other such conditions
  • Physical examination
  • Interview that clarifies if you have the fear
  • Laboratory tests

Additionally, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders or DSM-5, lists the following as diagnostics criteria:

  • Significant fear or anxiety about insects.
  • The anxiety is out of proportion (irrational) to the actual risk posed by the insects.
  • The person endures the insect with significant fear and anxiety or completely avoids being around it.
  • Avoidance or fear provokes significant impairment of day to day function.
  • The anxiety is persistent or exists for more than six months.

Types Of Entomophobia 

There are several types of this phobia, however, we will list the uncommon ones:

1. Myrmecophobia


The inexplicable fear of ants is myrmecophobia which makes it difficult for a person to function normally around ants. The trigger can be problematic due to traumatic or negative events of the past. The phobia may lead to the person feeling anxious, breathless or dizzy.

2. Acarophobia


This one is a less talked about disorder where a person may feel anxious with thoughts of small insects biting them. The irrational fear may stem from the uncomfortable sensation that was felt when they were once bitten. Small insects such as mites, and ticks can cause severe conditions. A person who is uncomfortable with the sensation of these insects crawling on their body can experience the extreme anxiety related to these creepy crawlies.

3. Scoleciphobia


Also known as “worm phobia”, this condition stems from the irrational fear of helminths. Understandably the most terrifying insects on the whole planet, in my opinion, are worms. I mean, you get my point, right?

4. Arachnophobia


It is the fear of arachnids such as spiders, and scorpions. With an entire movie dedicated to this fear, it is the most common phobia to exist. This fear of spiders can cause extreme anxiety in a person who cannot even imagine these creepy crawlies. Now you realize that Ronald Weasely demonstrated arachnophobia!

Wrapping It Up!

This was all on the fear of bugs and the necessary information on the same. Hopefully this article helps destigmatize the condition and encourages you to seek professional guidance if you recognize any symptoms.

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