Simple Steps to Ending Your Fear of Bugs
The vast majority of people don’t like bugs. Even a few of our professional pest control technicians can’t stand them. But for some people their fear of bugs is a full-blown phobia.
Its official name is entomophobia, and it’s one of over 500 different phobias. But fear of insects is much more common than most fears. In fact, the National Institutes of Health recently reported that entomophobia was the number one fear, and Fearof.net ranked arachnophobia (fear of spiders) as the most common phobia. This makes sense given that insects greatly outnumber people, and they’re a normal part of everyday life.
Most bugs can’t hurt you, but phobias go beyond reason. They are deep-seated and psychological in nature. Often phobias develop in childhood (and we move past them), or they can manifest after a traumatic event. Fortunately, entomophobia can be overcome so you don’t have to live in fear of creepy, crawly critters forever.
5 Steps to Conquering Entomophobia
Ready to show those pint-size insects you’re not afraid? It’s time to confront the fear and take control over the billions of bugs that share our world.
Accept and Understand the Fear
Own up to the fear, understand that you aren’t alone and analyze what is creating the phobia. Sit down and write out what it is that you fear most about bugs. Note when you first started feeling afraid of bugs and any experiences that you can remember. This will help you get a better grasp of what is causing the fear so you can address the root of the problem.
Practice Positive Thinking and Imaging
When you envision bugs to be scary beasts that bite, sting and creep around that will become your reality. Start replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones so you see insects in a better light. Focus on all the benefits that they provide to the ecosystem. Admit to yourself that only a very small percentage bite and sting, and if you leave them alone they’ll leave you alone. Tell yourself that you can control them, not the other way around.
Visit an Entomologist
Entomologists are scientists that specialize in the study of bugs. They can explain the anatomy and behavior of insects so you have a better understanding of how your nemesis lives. Entomologists also have dead bugs on display so you can get an up close look without worrying that the bug might get you.
Confront a Bug in the Real World
After visiting the entomologist, you can continue the gradual exposure by confronting a live bug out in the wild. This will help you to face the fear and deal with it rather than letting it control you. If needed, get a friend or family member to back you up for support. Start slow with insects that don’t creep you out as much and keep going from there.
Visit a Therapist
If your phobia is debilitating or affects your daily life it’s time to visit a therapist that specializes in fear. These therapists use cognitive therapy to help reshape behaviors.
Helping Kids Cope With Their Fear of Bugs
Most phobias begin in childhood between the ages of four and eight. Dr. Greene, a pediatrician that’s known for his website DrGreene.com, suggests that grown ups acknowledge a child’s fear instead of ignoring it or writing it off. Let the child know that you are there to protect them and that you will help them get over their fear. Talk to them about it so you know exactly what it is that scares them. Don’t make them face their fear in an unnatural way. Take things slow and start by introducing them to “safer” bugs like butterflies and ladybugs. You can also use toys, books and art projects to help shift their perspective on insects.
Even if you get over your fear that doesn’t mean you should have to live with bugs. Vulcan Termite & Pest Control Inc. provides regular pest control treatments that can help you control the bug population around your home or business.