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Insect Fears the Biggest Phobias to Bug Us

Up to 10% of the population has a phobia, and a fear of insects tops the list of what gets people frightened.

According to psychiatrist David Samson, with the exception of loud noises and falling, all other fears are learnt. He explained that often a phobia is the result of a negative experience in the first six years of a person’s life, where the subconscious association with an object develops into an intense fear known as a phobia.

For example, a young child who sees a spider and is then warned harshly by a parent to stay away from it will retain that memory at a subconscious level, Samson said. In the future, when they again see a spider, they may react negatively because of past experience.

The most common phobias are a fear of spiders and a fear of bees. Around 50% of women are scared of spiders, a phobia known as arachnophobia.

In an extreme case of a phobia of insects sufferers imagine that creepy crawlies are on their body, and have been known to scratch their skin raw as a result.