Myrmecophobia is an intense fear of ants. This fear belongs to the more general category of Entomophobias (the fear of insects). But the fear of bees and fear of ants are more specific as the sufferers only fear those respective classes of insects.
Myrmecophobia is derived from the Greek word Myrmex meaning ‘ants’ and phobos which stands for the “Greek God of fear”. Myrmecophobic individuals are, in a sense, similar to Arachnophobes- (people who fear spiders) in that; they might shudder or cry at the sight of ants just like the latter might do at the sight of spiders. People with extreme ant phobia often believe that these bugs might enter their homes, contaminate their food or lead to massive destruction, damage, even death.
The fear of ants manifests in different ways and varies from individual to individual.
What causes Myrmecophobia?
Ant bites often known to cause severe allergic reactions in some individuals. Some kinds of ants called Fire Ants can actually kill larger animals and can also be fatal to humans. Movies like Indian Jones have depicted these ants. Fire ant stings can cause the throat to swell up due to which the victim might suffocate and choke. While this is rare, such news reports can cause panic waves among people. The report of a 68 year old South Carolina woman going into an anaphylactic shock after being bitten by fire ants whilst gardening was enough to trigger mass fear of ants in the area.
Ants come near residential areas in search of food. Fire ants can specifically react to human scents as well; they then crawl up the legs of their victims to bite them. Red ant stings cause intense pain, itchiness and might require immediate medical attention. Carpenter ants and black ants are attracted to wood and can cause destruction of property as well as landscaping. These facts could trigger Myrmecophobia in some individuals. In general, people with an intense dislike of insects tend to also dislike or fear ants.
The fear of ants might have evolutionary roots; early humans had to sleep and eat in the open where ants often bit them or contaminated their food. The human brains are thus pre-programmed to feel a disgust response at the sight of ants.
Ants found in the tropical areas are generally larger: their size helps them survive in the hostile conditions. These ants prey upon small and medium sized animals. Documentaries, TV shows or movies depicting swarms of killer ants could trigger fear of ants’ phobia.
As with other Entomophobias, Myrmecophobia might also occur due to a negative or traumatic event in the past. A child that has been stung by ants might remember the pain and over and over every time it is confronted with ants. Caregivers and parents might unknowingly instill the fear of ants in younger children by using warning statements about ants.
Symptoms of fear of ants
People suffering from Myrmecophobia suffer from variety of physical and emotional symptoms:
- Shuddering, trembling, feeling terrified at the sight/thought of ants. Some phobics might lose consciousness momentarily when they come in contact with an ant. Uncontrollable weeping, feeling like running away and hiding or having a full blown panic attack are some other symptoms of Myrmecophobia.
- Phobics might imagine “killer ants attacking and dragging them away to their Queen” over and over as seen in some movies/shows.
- They might avoid gardening or stepping outdoors in summer and spring when ants are rampant.
- Some people fear that ants will contaminate their foods or invade their homes. This leads to an obsessive compulsive behavior in the form of cleaning the house, locking the doors and windows, or being overzealous in the use of pesticides to prevent ants in their homes and yards.
While most cases of Myrmecophobia do not interfere with day to day lives, some can get so severe that the phobic requires medical help.
Treating and overcoming the fear of ants
Often, the fear of ants is confused with other health ailments; hence a proper diagnosis may be needed to ascertain the condition. A trained healthcare provider needs to determine the specific triggers of the phobia, specifically to see if the individual is suffering from general Entomophobia or from Myrmecophobia.
Once a diagnosis is achieved, the therapist might recommend a series of therapy/counseling sessions to help one overcome the fear. Gradual desensitization is one of the best known methods of overcoming the phobia. This involves a series of steps that start with slow exposure of the phobic to ants under safe circumstances until s/he is able to fully control the anxiety experienced. Mild doses of medication may be prescribed in case one’s Myrmecophobia is interfering with daily life.
For me, it’s not one ant that bothers me. It’s the fact that there is no such thing as one ant. If you see one ant in your house, you don’t have to look too far to find many of them. That’s what bothers me. It came from my childhood when I was about 4-5 years old, playing hide and seek. I hid in a bush, got covered in ants, and went hysterical and almost in shock. My mum ran out and had to swipe them off me to calm me down. I think it traumatized me, and ever since, if I see an ant, I’m immediately on the alert for the rest. So if we are out sitting in some grass and I see an ant, I’m on my feet in a shot.
I’m so glad to see all these people like me. Well, not literally. I’ve always had a fear of ants. But not what you think. I’m scared of them inside a room. If I see one there, I can’t go in a room for days. I actually love ants, so I don’t get it. I’m always getting bullied by it. This fear sucks.
I’m literally screaming and crying because I saw a big ant under my bed. I don’t know why I’m scared of ants so much. I sometimes get paralyzed by fear when in contact with an ant. I hated and was scared of them since I remember, so even if there was a thing that caused it, I can’t remember. Thanks for the article. Now at least I know I’m not alone.
I don’t know why I have this fear either, but it ruins my life. The only time I am truly comfortable is in Winter. I would love to not have this phobia.
Wow, it’s nice to know that I’m not alone. I don’t really remember when this fear became apparent to me. If I see 1-5 ants, it’s not too bad. But it’s mainly ants in groups that make my skin crawl. Picking something up in my yard and seeing them crawl on my arm feels odd. If I see a group of ants by turning over an object or just seeing a group of them, it can do as little as make me slightly uncomfortable, or it can make me have a full-on mental breakdown. It’s so weird. I know they can’t hurt me, yet I still run around thrashing my arms wildly while screaming as if my life depended on it. My worst experience with ants was when I went with my dad to meet up with his friend for a free pool. The boxes it was in were FULL of ants. My dad put the boxes in the truck’s bed, and I was an absolute wreck. I was crying and hyperventilating and willing to get out and walk 10-20 miles home, but my dad wouldn’t let me.
Musah ilyasu says
I’m currently in high school and I’ve been scared of ants ever since I unknowingly ate two bananas FULL of ants. If I get the slightest notion about ants on my body, I thrash my limbs with a shriek. Dad keeps saying it’s (ants) protein.
“If you’re always worried about crushing the ants beneath you… you won’t be able to walk.”
Riley Murray says
I am so terrified of ants that I now have my own plates and cutlery in my room. Also, I have my own separate food since the kitchen always gets ants. I constantly get told that they are only ants and that they can’t hurt you. I know that these ants can’t hurt me, but that’s not what I am scared of. I am scared they will be in my food or that they will crawl all over me. Dead ants are just as bad, and it makes me feel sick. I have had a panic attack in the shower because I thought ants were crawling all over me, so I was in the shower sitting down crying. People just laugh at me when I tell them I have a fear of ants. It’s not fair!
Annette Huffman says
Just me reading this makes me feel like they’re crawling on me.
I am currently in high school, and I’m terrified of ants to the point where I lose it when I see one remotely around me. My room always gets infested with ants no matter how many times I clean it. Whenever that happens, I get shaken up, and my chest tightens. However, the worst part about all this is how others react when I share my fear about ants. People (family/friends) scold me saying I shouldn’t be afraid of them and that I just need to get over it. I don’t think I ever will, but good luck to anyone else dealing with this.
I live in a high-rise apartment. I’m so glad I found this site as I’ve tried to let my family, the building management, and pest control know I have an “ant phobia.” That doesn’t seem to mean anything. But my panic, fast-beating pulse, unable to breathe properly (hyperventilating), nausea, feeling ants crawl in my hair, on my skin, seeing them come in swarms and attack me. That kind of fear!
And oh boy, I am not able to stop it. I have a dry mouth, tensed shoulder muscles, and the terror of these “tiny” ants is indescribable. No amount of logic is getting me to calm my body down right now.
I’ve had several periods in the last three years of these “moisture ants” or properly named “Pharaoh ants” invade my kitchen and bathroom. I found out they are very difficult to get rid of. I was free of them for two months. I relaxed a little. I didn’t wipe up every little drop of water, mop the walls and floors to rid their scent trails, and cooking wasn’t a nightmare. Now they are back! I’m worse with my fear reaction. My heart is pounding, and my gut is cramping. I feel my skin and head crawling. I know I have one in my hair. I brush frantically with my head over the tub so I can catch it with scotch tape and kill it. Yet I know there are millions more. They are tiny but oh so clever and survive in places I’d never imagined.
Sleeping is very difficult, and getting up at night. The fear of seeing one on the bathroom floor or sink is taking its toll on my mental, emotional and physical health.
I have put poison down in the kitchen cupboard. All food is packed, jarred, and removed.
But unlike the previous times, I am terrified as they are starting to find it and make scent trails. I could call pest control again. But the last two times, they too said Pharaoh ants are very difficult to get rid of and require that I mop my floors daily, leave no water or food anywhere for them, yet I’m not to kill them as they have to consume the poison and bring it to the nest. (Wherever that is!)
I’m sitting here, and my scalp is crawling. I want to run out of here, but I know it’s my fear. I’ve moped the cupboards, counters, floors with borax water as instructed by the pest control company. It will take several weeks before they decline.
So I’m trying to figure out how I will be able to use my kitchen. If I start cooking and turn around and see one skim across the counter, I’m absolutely terrified! Turning on water and letting any moisture into the air gets them running.
I’m sitting here crying and not knowing how I’ll manage this round again. I have no known reason. There’s nothing I can remember from being a kid that had anything to do with ants. Spiders; yes, they scare me badly, but I can kill them. Then it’s over.
These “moisture ants” or “sugar ants,” as some neighbors here call them, are a most horrible nightmare for me. So what do I tell people? How will my landlord even remotely understand me, let alone my family and friends?
I have to ride it out for the duration of the poison, but right now, I have my back to the kitchen, and oh, I imagine just how many are crawling and more coming.
I feel “filthy” and out of control. Making any decisions without obsessing about these ants isn’t possible. I’m supposed to be and act like an “adult,” which right now is extremely difficult.
At 52 years, I’ve not managed to get over this!
Man, I thought I was alone. It’s comforting reading comments that show I am not, although some of the stories here make me want to jump out of my skin. I had ants in my dorm, and it freaked me out so much I pesticided the whole room like three times. I almost choked to death, but it was worth it.
I’m terrified of ants. I don’t really have a reason, other than the fact that there’s always so many. I live in a place where everyone has trouble with water ants invading their homes. I remember one day I was taking a bath, and on the side of the tub was dog hair from when my sister had bathed my puppy and didn’t take care of his fur that fell out. There were tons of ants entangled in his fur, and seeing some of them trying to get out was terrifying, and they were stuck in the drain, too. I remember I couldn’t even go into the bathroom to drain the water when my mom yelled at me. It was terrifying. Another time, I had gotten chocolate milk, but couldn’t clean it up because I had to do something. When I finished, I had forgotten about it and hadn’t finished drinking it or cleaned it up, and my sister kept badgering me, but every time I went to do it there were more ants. Then she placed the cup on my computer. I screamed at her, then finally did it, but I got in trouble for using my mom’s disposable latex gloves. When I went back to my computer, there were ants crawling on the screen and frame. I remember the sheer panic. I almost tossed my computer on the ground because of my haste to get somewhere without ants. I couldn’t stop fidgeting for days. Anyway, it comforts me to know I’m not the only one. I feel like I can’t share my experiences with other people, since everyone I know laughs at me for it.
I am scared of ants and them crawling on me, mostly. When there’s 1 ant, there’s more. Always. If ants are outside, I just walk away quickly, but if they are indoors, I freak out. This is because I am expecting them to be outside, but the house is like my escape from them so if there’s even ONE in the house, I know that the colony could be anywhere, even in my room! I used to like them until I had a bad experience in which after seeing an ant or two in my house over the previous week, I picked something up and ants swarmed from the bottom of it and crawled up my arms and got on my face. Now if I see even 1 ant in my house, I panic and run outside. At least then I’m not trapped in an enclosed space with them. At school, they were in all my classrooms except science (kudos to my science teacher for a beautiful clean room). My friends thought I was overreacting because I sat crouched on my chair with my feet up. Ants are horrible.
I literally cry and panic and freeze whenever I see ants and I often have a panic attack because I’m so scared of germs and things crawling on me.
I am terrified of ants. I have a panic attack if I see them in my home. I believe it started when I was about 4 and I accidentally stepped in an ant pile and they immediately swarmed all over my leg and there were so many, it was insane. They were all biting me and it was painful. I was really young but I still remember it. It was downright traumatizing. I’m 17 now and still scared of them. My mom thinks it’s stupid that I’m so afraid of something so much smaller than me, but with ants, if you see just a few in your house, you know there’s more. Ants are always together. The crazy thing is there’s always a line in front of my garage, so to open the garage I always have to stand right by it to punch in the password and wait for the garage to open. I have so much anxiety every time.
IKR? My parents yell at me and laugh when I start crying, in fact two days ago one was crawling on me and I ran away screaming and crying they lauged! I have to pay them money so they will kill them for me.
Yeah same. They laugh at me when I run away crying. I get really itchy and feel as though things are crawling on me. One day I got out of the shower and walked around, then around 30 minutes later I saw an ant on my leg and had to re-shower.
Same! I have to beg my family to kill ants for me. That includes paying them and doing chores for them. Even when I’m crying, they still won’t kill it. They tell me that I have to kill the ants on my own. When I have to do it on my own, I just wear some boots with a bag on them, so I don’t get the floor dirty. Then I grab some of those white or clear gloves, get some paper towels, and force myself to kill them. The bigger ants are super scary, though.
I was raised on the Oregon Coast by the beach where red and black ants built mounded nests. We also had big black carpenter ants that as an adult, got into our old farmhouse cupboard. I harbor other fear-causing events. For as long as I can remember I freak out at the sight of these ants, and I know why. Spiders or other insects don’t cause this reaction. I am 67 and I will never shake this phobia.
I have a fear of ants, but not just normally. If I see one or two, I’m not that alarmed. When it gets to three, I’m a slight bit concerned. Five or above, I get more worried. Anything above that, I freak the out. I just know that more are out there. But that’s just my surroundings. If one is on me, I get a little concerned. Two or above I get quite panicky, and anything above that – you know the drill.
One time I was at my grandparents house. I was twelve years old. I was out in the backyard frolicking around like a little boy would. Then, I said for some reason, “Why don’t I get some bricks and make a nice pattern” and so I did, until the last brick. When I was going to get the last brick I saw one that looked really old. I picked it up, not noticing anything since I never had a phobia before that. Then I felt a heavy crawling feeling on my arms and literally somehow over 70 ants were on my arm. And I freaked out. I screamed for my mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and neighbors, but nobody answered me. Then eventually I figured out they were ants and I ran inside to look at the mirror and I saw a ton of ants. So I instantly took a shower and it was all over, but after then I was cursed with this ant phobia. Day after day I deal with this. I told my mom and she said I was just crazy. Eventually, low and behold I realized this is actually #99 of the top 100 phobias on this website! I was just bored, scrolling through the phobias, then I saw the ant phobia was actually a real thing! I get laughed at by my friends, parents, and I even got laughed at by my bae when I was 12! She kinda still does laugh at me but now it’s more of a joke between us not too much in a bad way. The ants still freak me out though, no matter how old I get. Thanks for reading!
It’s okay, I don’t blame you. I didn’t have a specific traumatizing experience but I feel your pain, they’re horrible creatures.
I am super scared of ants, i hate them so much. I don’t know their purpose in life, what are they good for? If i see 1 ant i will start to panic. I am scared of ants because they are everywhere, in my food, make nests in my walls, eat my dogs food, they are even in my car. I am scared they will go in my ears, or crawl on my legs. I have nightmares about ants.
Same here. You’re not alone. My classroom has tons of ants in the back where i sit and my friends always put them on my legs to scare me. I despise ants so much! They’re annoying and disgusting.
I would complain until my seat was moved. I’m so sorry. Ants are such small but scary creatures.
This was pretty interesting to read. I am not scared of every insect, though ants are horrible to me. If I see an ant out in public, I’m fine. If an ant touches me in public I am very much not fine. I can watch ant documentaries all the time without a problem, I think they’re fascinating. But if an ant is in my house I loose it completely. Shaking, crying, the works. I live with two other people and I always recommend spraying or traps but they always say “it’s just some tiny little ant”. If you are one that’s ok with watching documentaries about ants, I recommend the Ants Canada channel on YouTube. (I would start with the ‘all’ playlist he has cause then you can learn all about the other colonies first so you don’t get confused). It’s taught me some very interesting things and it had helped me get over my fear. (You see a lot of ants)
Yeah it’s actually pretty cool to watch them build a hill. And dude I feel you.
I am so afraid of ants, after finding 3 nests in 3 years. It’s like a loop I can never get out of! Losing my confidence and self esteem over this, everyone around me finds me plain silly. I am so very sad.
Sorry to reopen this thread, but recently I am getting very depressed by ants in my house. I freaked out by baits cause they are still roaming about even though I had a pest control company to out their professional baits. Now I just spray all entry points every day, it’s getting over the top doing this. I go to my mum’s place with my child everyday to get away from my house. Then night time when I reached home, i will be extremely weepy when I see even a single ant. How do you guys cope with this depression? What will happen to me if it continues?
Irene A Radel says
I have the same problem and I’m very depressed because of it. Want to talk
Peninah Barash says
There is a special ant poison which can be ordered from Indonesia that works exceptionally well. The trick is to put the poison in an area where you find a lot of ants. They will think it is food, and will collect it and carry it back to their ant farms. They feed it to the queen, and they also eat it. The poison makes the ants go crazy within a couple of hours. The ants kill their queen and start killing each other. They can’t live long without a queen running the ant farm. This way you get rid of an entire ant farm at its source, and don’t have dead ants around the house. Good luck.
I believe it’s called them having convulsions, and losing their awareness, then their train of thought, then they go crazy.
What is the name of this? My phobia has been getting worse these last few years.
Danni B says
Did you find out what it was called and if it works?
Yeah could you find out because I really need it. It would be amazing.
I am the same, since moving to this house in 2017 I didn’t know or really seem fazed by ants until I got them in my house. It feels like the amount we have in our garden or house is worse each year. Last year I had pest control out 3 times and it pretty much ruined my whole maternity leave as I had a baby. They don’t bother my husband. I don’t stop cleaning, 9-10 times a day, spray all the outside of my house daily with 50/50 water and vinegar. Normally I would go to my mums with the kids to get out of house but at present I can’t with lock down rules due to the outbreak so I’m stuck at home. I have found I am waking up in the night and checking the area.
I have this too, I get made fun of a lot. I am 13 in high school and it sucks. I need help if anybody has some.
Wow same! I’m 13 too. Want to talk about it, I could use some help too
Hi i’m 13 and in 8th grade with the same problem, myrmecophobia, it sucks! Kids just laugh at me.
Anonymous Girl says
OMG I’m 12 and there are ants in all of my classrooms except science. None of my teachers get it.
Same. I’m 14 and a sophomore and there’s ants in my school and I absolutely hate them. I will literally cry and panic if they’re on me.
I’m 14 going into 9th and I’m scared of ants too. I compulsively clean my house all the time to get rid of ants and it’s very tiring and time consuming.
I thought i was the only one and people just cant stop judging me, like i can control it.
I share this fear too for all my life and I’m 40 now.
The ant is bad enough (ugh.. the ugly segmented body of it ) but its also the fact that if you spot one, theres millions somewhere near by somewhere.. its that that gets me.
Like lots of other people here.. I am the joke of my friends as I SCOWER the grass we are about to sit on for anything moving and scream uncontrollably when one is on me.. its insane and I get its insane.
Even more though.. I know how insane it is because I really do not have, say, a spider phobia at all. I quite like them actually (I’m sure they eat ants so good!) and I almost hypercritically laugh at someone who shouts “SPIDER SPIDER !! “. With them, theres one spider and thats that. Arrogantly I feel my phobia is more justified somehow? All phobias are equally horrible but its so unfortunate we have this ant one.. if only we had a more rare thing that you are faced with less !
and can I just mention Flying Ant Day?
Same phobia but now they are winged ! I book that day off work and stay inside even if it only becomes apparent THAT day. I’m off. Home.
Clare Morris says
I have a phobia to all ants, but I can normally control it when faced with ordinary ants. Flying ants or something else though and I just freak the hell out and have to get away. My phobia started with flying ants and they make me feel sick and make my skin crawl. I can’t put into words how much I hate them, but I feel that you guys get it!
I’m so happy that there are other people like me. I get made fun of at school because of my phobia of ants and I can’t help it. My parents tell me it’s ridiculous to be scared of “such small little bugs” but I just think they are horrifying. Sometimes I see imaginary ants and I start trembling with fear and start wiping the imaginary ants off of my skin. I wish I could cure this phobia :(
When I see an ant I start to itch and scratch my entire body because when I was little I was at the park eating and I didn’t notice a ant pile next to me and they crawl all over me
This is so relatable.
Every time I see an ant I run away and keep freaking out over the thought of one crawling on me. As I sit there I sometimes feel a fake feeling of an ant crawling on me.
SAME!! and people judge me for it
Katrina Breuer says
OMG same! Once they infested my backpack and there were like 1 or 2 million in my backpack and I went to the bathroom and started crying/freaking out. Then for like a few weeks after when I tried to go to bed it felt like ants were crawling all over me. Now whenever I see an ant I will scream and cry and run away from it. I am 13 years old.
Oh good, I’m not alone.
Perfect article. I’d make one change though, photo of ant on the web page.
XDasiana XChampagne says
That was literally my first thought!
I’m phobic of most insects but mostly ants, I’ve lived with my grandparents for six years and every year we get and an infestation. It freaks me out and it started when I was about seven (before I lived with my grandparents) I’m now in my teens and I hate walking around because there might be ants so I tend to sit on things that they can’t climb. I honestly have no idea why they freak me out but I can’t go near them without shuddering, whimpering or clambering away as fast as I can.
Heh. I was really and truly screwed when I was a kid, thank GOD I don’t have this fear as strong.
When I was a kid, I was scared of ants.
Pair that with trypophobia, and I was scared of the little ant holes.
Me = (x_x)
Omg me too
I’m scared of insects, I’m entomophobic, it’s been going on since I was a little kid. I always have to be cautious about my surroundings outside, I’m always scared to go camping because I fear that something will crawl on me, I have this phobia so bad that I can’t go outside without having the fear. It’s terrible and I can’t stand wasps, especially if they make a nest out of mud, especially bees. I have a story to share. One time I was sitting next to my dad just hanging out by the pond we live on. I was having a good time until my dad heard sounds. He told me to go inside the house as fast as I could and there was a large group of bees swarming. That was the most disgusting moment I ever saw and now I’m afraid to go to the pond and sit down on the bench ever since that happened and later on my mama told me that there was mud daubers next to the pond and I felt like I want to barf non stop, it’s disgusting.
I have a fear of ants too. I eat in my room and one morning I woke up with a huge group of ants I started to freak out about this.
I have a fear of all bugs. I was in the kitchen eating, and I put my bowl in the sink. Then I saw hundreds of ants in the sink. I now eat in my room. It’s not even safe from ants anymore. Last year no ants came upstairs. I never went downstairs and now ants are up here. In all of the rooms. Bathrooms, bedrooms. They’re everywhere. It costs so much for extermination. I don’t know what to do
Me too. They won’t go away but I got rid of the food like seriously?
It’s weird reading this and knowing people feel this way towards ants while I have no problems holding the most dangerous ant in the world (the bulldog ants of Australia). I guess you’d hate the country now since it has the greatest diversity of ants on the planet at more than 1,500 species.
Ugh… please DO NOT mention THAT… I’m an entomophobic, but for strange reasons I’m more afraid of ants than other bugs… I don’t know why?
It’s amazing to know I’m not the only one with this irrational fear. I get ridiculed by family and even my friends and boyfriend for my phobia. But I can’t control it, my body goes into a complete panic when I see an ant especially in my home.
I shake, and cry and walk around in fear to sit down anywhere because I think they will get on me. I’m obsessive with cleaning places I have seen them or spraying them with every chemical I can find. It’s over the top in every way.
I did have 2 separate traumatizing events happen involving ants when I was little and I think that’s what caused this. I wish I could get over it but I think it’s something I am going to have to accept.
I shudder even thinking about bugs. They can be so dangerous. And there are trillions of different bugs out there
As i say this i can feel ants on my skin.
That is exactly how I feel. Shaking, crying and quickly going from hot to cold. I get so much anxiety I have to stay in one spot and look at everything around me until I feel safe again. I know exactly how you feel. Good to know that there’s someone else out there like me too.
I’m really scared of ants! Even when only just one ant crawl on me I will run away as far as I can and maybe start to cry.
I fear ants too they give me goosebumps.. I do not like to come across them because they freak me out. I feel they can harm me.. my friends laugh at me because of that and I felt weird but knowing a lot of people are also affected makes me feel better.
caelan f says
I have a minor fear. If I see at least five of them in my house I feel like they are everywhere. Just today I found 5 crawling on my laptop and INSIDE of it.
Enric Martinez says
“The fear of ants might have evolutionary roots”.
In this case US Americans may have evolved differently from the rest of the planet ;).
In Colombia and other parts of America, Asia and Australia, ants are food.
And if it really had evolutionary roots, why does only a little part of the population suffer from it? And what selective advantage would it provide? Ants (in a general sense) aren’t a threat to humans. And our simian cousins the chimps love them even more as food as the humans that eat these.
My family is from Colombia… my dad’s eaten ants and he liked it…? I will NEVER eat ants, its to disgusting and scary.
I’m Australian. Ants are terrifying and I’d never eat them. It’s every year I find them taking over my lockers, cars and house.
I have had an intense fear of ants since I was a child but today I had a severe panic attack because of them. I was about to eat a piece of food and an ant crawled out from inside of it and touched me. I actually started crying and shaking uncontrollably. I didn’t know other people feared ants as much as me until now!
When I see ants or even think about them I instantly think they’re crawling all over me and when an ant comes into contact with me I go into hysterics and need to immediately have a shower, I have had the fear for years and they scare the life out of me!
Same here. I thought I was the only one. My family says I’m a scaredy cat for it.
I’ve had ants crawl on me before now I can’t go in the same room that ants are/have been in without feeling like they’re climbing on me
After an encounter with an ant, I immediately feel the need to run. I tremble and cry when there is more than one ant. Also, following the encounter I become overly aware of my surroundings. I feel immediately unsafe and am afraid that they are on me and because they are so small I have no idea where. I just saw a couple and now cannot sleep due to paranoia.
Yeah, same now. It’s 10:01 at night and I can’t sleep because I just saw an ant.
Just saw two ants in my room. It’s 12:55 am and I’m scanning my room every second like a maniac. I know how you feel, it’s terrible I don’t think I can sleep tonight.
When I see ants I just turn on the lights, look everywhere and then turn the lights off and jump far away onto my bed because I am worried I will touch them.
A person says
How could you do this. All I wanted to do was research the symptoms of this phobia and you show me this horrid picture of ants swarming all over someones hands. Not gonna sleep tonight.
I’m sorry you feel that way and I can assure you the photos are not there to make you feel bad. The photos are there because they help people find the right articles when searching on the web or on this site. I apologise for the inconvenience and I hope you can understand my intentions.
That being said, I do listen to my readers so the photo has been changed to something considerably less panic provoking – no more ants crawling on hands.