The Mighty Logo

What Summer is Like For Someone With Entomophobia

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Entomophobia is the fear of bugs, which is something I deal with. When summer rolls around, this phobia is intensified.

I dread summer because of this. It’s too hot to have the windows closed, but if I leave the windows open, I fear all the bugs will come into my house and hide away in my clothes, my bed and food cupboards.

It’s too hot to wear jackets and long pants, but if I wear shorts and a T-shirt or a dress, I’ll get bitten by bugs and they will crawl up my legs and enter my body, or I’ll get parasites and die a horrible death.

Bug spray smells but if I don’t wear it, I’ll get bitten and have an allergic reaction and end up with golfball-sized bug bites all over me.

The heat makes me sweat, but if I put on deodorant or perfume, the bugs will smell it and want to bite me more.

When I encounter bugs, whether just seeing them doing their business, flying round in front of me, flying into me, sitting on me or anything of the sort, I get all weird. I start to feel an itch across my whole body, I become agitated, and want to scream, cry and shower in scorching hot water to kill whatever is on me. I get anxious that I’ll be bitten or stung and then I’ll have an allergic reaction or get an infection or a disease from it. All of this causes or is part of a strange panic attack.

It’s really embarrassing, too. When your family and friends laugh at you because you screamed and started panicking just because a butterfly flew near you. It’s embarrassing when you have to turn down plans because of your fear of bugs. It’s embarrassing when it’s the hottest week of the summer and you turn down all plans because you’d rather stay inside than sweat and use deodorant, which could both potentially attract bugs.

It’s embarrassing and debilitating at times, and you get laughed at for it. You end up sitting in your house as long as you can with all windows closed, nothing more than a tank top and shorts on because the heat is unbearable. You can’t risk going outside due to the fear that bugs will attack you, so you stay in and get no fresh air. You use so much bug spray that you basically smell like the opposite of a human. You always have antihistamine cream on hand for bites and stings.

It’s a really tough time through summer when you’re entomophobic. If you know someone with an intense phobia of bugs, don’t laugh at them. Don’t make fun of them because they smell like bug spray or flinch every time they feel something on their skin, even if it’s just the wind moving their hair. Be thoughtful. Don’t make fun of phobias; they can ruin people’s lives, and making fun of it just makes them feel worse.

Be kind to people with phobias. It isn’t their fault.

Unsplash via sandevil sandh

Originally published: October 24, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home