Mottephobia is similar to the fear of butterflies or Lepidopterophobia. The word Mottephobia originates from German ‘Motte’ meaning moths and Greek ‘phobos’ which means fear.
Mottephobia falls in the category of specific animal phobias. It is an anxiety disorder which is not as common as Arachnophobia – the fear of spiders, but is relatively widespread. The disorder triggers a severe panic attack in some cases where the sufferer continuously pictures a moth attacking him/her. Moths are generally harmless creatures and considered quite beautiful by insect lovers around the world. But to a Mottephobic individual, the creatures appear evil or downright frightening. They are especially afraid of stepping outdoors in the summer months, when moth populations are rampant.
Causes of Mottephobia
As with other specific animal phobias, the fear of moths can also be triggered by a specific event. The phobic, as a child, might have been ‘attacked’ or frightened by a moth as a result of which s/he tends to recall the episode each time there is an encounter.
Sometimes, negative or traumatic experience related to these creatures can also trigger the phobia in the individual.
Moths are generally harmless but they are also known to destroy crops. They appear in our homes typically at night time and tend to be attracted to electric light bulbs.
Moths have dark/brown colored, scaly and furry bodies for camouflaging themselves from their predators. They inhabit dusty, dark places like attics and come out rather suddenly when disturbed. They also make a flapping motion with their wings along with a buzzing sound that can be perceived as ‘scary’ by people who are already suffering from various anxiety disorders.
Symptoms of Mottephobia
Like other phobias, Mottephobia is also characterized by certain physical and psychological symptoms. The phobic might have experienced a split second of panic upon encountering one in the past and the brain wires then respond similarly to future stimuli.
The common symptoms of Mottephobia are:
- Fast heartbeat
- Dry mouth
- Elevated stress and anxiety levels
- Freezing on the spot, refusing to move
- Shaking or trembling
- Running away, screaming or crying hysterically
Most phobics try to avoid situations where moths might be present. If the phobic does happen to encounter a moth, s/he follows it with close scrutiny to ensure that it will not come near him/her.
Treatment of fear of Moths
Extensive research has been conducted on exposure therapy and its efficacy in treating the fear of moths or Mottephobia. Augmented Reality Exposure therapy or ARET is also a part of gradual desensitization where the phobic is gradually and progressively made to interact with moths. In the beginning, the phobic will experience deep anxiety at even an image or a cartoon of the object of his fears. But ARET is done in a safe and controlled manner, which slowly enables Mottephobic individuals to learn to view images of moths or butterflies without having a panic attack.
The gradual desensitization therapy is a slow process, but modern methods like virtual reality etc are used to make the environment more realistic for faster results. A stimulated interaction between the sufferer and a moth may also be enabled or a virtual replica may be created which can be viewed on screen. These interactions enable the phobic to gradually overcome anxiety and panic s/he experiences each time one encounters a moth.
Likewise Hypnotherapy is also known to get to the root of the phobia to enable the phobic to rationalize this fear. Talk therapy along with group interactions can also help the phobic take comfort in the fact that there are others like him suffering from Mottephobia.
I never knew this had a name, nor have I ever met anyone else afflicted by this. For as long as I can remember, I was paralyzed with fear of moths, even as rationally I knew they were gentle and harmless. I couldn’t even look at pictures of them in books. The fear -dramatically- and negatively impacted my day-to-day life. When I was in my 40s, someone told me about Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). I had four sessions and was forever freed of a life-altering, truly debilitating phobia. Writing this almost 30 years later, I can tell you that I have field guides of moths, can catch them in my hands, and have hosted moth ID events outdoors.
I’m a 14-year-old male now, but my first experience was when I was three and me, and my mom and her ex-boyfriend (the boyfriend was driving) and a moth came into the car, and my mom in the passenger seat killed it and threw it at me when I was in my seat, and that’s when my fear started. Ever since that happened, I have been afraid, and I still am. With small ones, I run out of the room really fast, and with big ones, I freeze like I can’t move at all. But when they touch me, I shut down and start crying. No matter how hard I try, I always cry, and my mom still makes fun of me for it even though she is the reason it happens. And all of her boyfriends were no help at all. They did the same thing, just torment me with them. But thanks for letting me share.
I don’t remember how my phobia started, but what you describe about your running out of the room, freezing, and shutting down and crying, and your experiences of being teased are all my story too. EMDR (see my post – BG) gave me back a life.
I can definitely relate. This summer I was sleeping in my bed like normal and saw a big moth, and it scared me so bad. Then I realized there were two, and I just shut down and cried and froze like a statue, and then it kept going near me. I want this fear gone so I can go outside in the summer without being scared. I sleep in my bed, and my sister always makes fun of me for this fear. She’s like: “it’s just like a butterfly,” and then she throws it on me, and I start to cry and freeze. So I feel you, bro.
I never feared moths when I was a kid until my teacher made me sit next to a dead one. I say made, but it was really like this: I said, “there’s a dead moth next to me, and I can’t reach it.” We sat at dividers, and it was in between one of them, and it was huge. She said, “It’s just like a butterfly. It won’t hurt you.”) Then she just left it there. So I sat there the whole school day next to a decaying moth, and now I have a huge fear of them, especially their rest stance. I know they’re like butterflies, but moths are just creepy to me.
I am 14. My fear started when I was about 2. I have no real reason for it, it just exist. My whole life I wanted this fear gone cause it makes me feel dumb. Huge moths paralyze me, like I can’t physically move. If it’s there I’m stuck in place till it moves – then I’m high-speed bolt. I’ll run at speeds I’m not supposed to cause it severely activates my acid reflex but I can’t help it. Normal size moths are an instant bolt, the tiny ones are the only ones I’m capable of killing. My papa (grandpa) used to kill them for me, even when it bugged him to just wake up to this child shaking his shoulder and pleading to kill a moth or 3, he always did it and it made me feel better. My anxiety levels don’t decrease till it’s gone. The issue with my fear is it’s so severe that if a moth touches me, I’ll escape and just have a panic attack and anxiety attack plus a mental breakdown all mixed together. It causes severe stomach and head aches, a severe throat burn (that lump in your throat when you’re crying, and screaming really only gets it out but it hurts like hell to do that) along with lightheadedness from the hyperventilating. It used to be not as bad since my papa took care of them, but now that he’s passed, I ask my parents. They typically ignore me and it makes me feel dumb and even more of a failure then I already am. I also now am underweight since I had a period where I in general stopped eating cause I had moth larva in my food, since the pantry was neglected and it was their little hot spot. I still can’t eat cereal even with the pantry cleaned out, or even if it’s kept in my room, I try and I wanna puke. My mom typically kills moths for me but they always disappear when she tries and it bothers her. I swear moths are bullies. They torment those afraid, then hide from the adults just to get the one they tormented in trouble. I was hiding under my blanket after my mom sent me there after not finding the moth I claimed was there and that little thing came flying against my blanket, slamming into my ear of all places. It did this for 20 minutes, probably enjoying my trauma, till I got up and left the room. I swear it’s under the blanket but I don’t wanna check. I’m not really going anywhere with this, I just wanted to share opinions, trauma and vent. I’m also really thankful that I’m not alone with this fear cause I was really starting to think I could only find 3 people, and it’s the dumbest fear ever.
I’ve never really had a traumatic experience with moths, I’ve just always been terrified of them. I went camping recently and I’m not exaggerating – there were 20 Miller moths in our motor home. I had a full blown panic attack. I know that they’re harmless but that doesn’t help me.
I’m a 22 years old girl, the fear of moths is the only irrational fear I have had so far. Many people around me are a bit surprised by my fear of moths because they think I’m fearless.
I’m afraid of moths but I like butterflies. But I’m not afraid of all moths; so far, I found I’m not afraid of Silkworm Moth, Clearwing Moths, Burnet Moths, Sunset Moth, and a type of full transparent moth, similar to hesperides. Because their rest stance is not the same as other moths, or even completely different. I’m afraid of most of the moth’s rest stances. I have searched the net and there are people like me, but they don’t know why. And I think square winged moths are more scary than round winged moths. Pastel-color moths are the most scary. If it’s this color, it will be very scary even if the rest stance is not the same.
I think it’s similar to Uncanny Valley. Most of moth’s rest stances are “special” among insects: their wings are flat, not transparent, can’t clearly see the vein, covered their bodies, obtuse triangles; Other insects do not, or hardly have these features at the same time, even some swallowtails or hesperides, their bodies are exposed.
In insects, square wings are less than round wings, and there are too few pastel-color wings.
Colored insects with wings, such as butterflies and some plant hoppers, usually stop on plants, but moths can often be found on walls although there isn’t any plants on them.
These combined make the moth fall into the Uncanny Valley. This may be the reason why some people are afraid of moths.
In literary and artistic works, butterflies always symbolize beauty, but moths are just “moth eyebrows” in China, and it’s only antennae, no wings.
I vibe with that, I’m scared of moths to the extent that I scream and start crying, hyperventilating, the whole shebang. Everyone in my life basically laughs at it because yes, I guess people could say it’s a dumb fear but it sends me into hysterics. There are some moths I’m not scared of, but only if they’re super tiny, even then I get nervous, but butterflies don’t effect me much. I get so nervous that I exaggerate the size, it could be one that’s the size of a quarter and I’ll say it was like a chapstick tube, only because I cant even stand to look at one for more than 3 seconds. The most scariest thing for me is really when they’re in flight. They move too rapidly, and I cant help but think it will land on me, same when they are in a resting position, I could never be in the same space because of how unpredictable they are. It’s a lot of things that pile up that make the phobia worse, but it’s nice to see articles and people having conversations to know it’s not as weird.
I’m glad to find others like me. I’m terrified of moths!
I just realized that there were others. I was losing my mother and my brother within the last few years and I never thought my phobia could be related to these traumas. I had moments like many laying in bed realizing there is a moth in the corner and I froze. I am mostly disgusted by their hairy appearance and their fast flapping wings. I was laying in bed not moving with my blanket over my head until I told myself to get up and catch it. I did it and it was horrible. I luckily made it and threw the glass in which I was catching it out of the window. I was closing the window and started crying because I didn’t understand what that was and why I reacted like that. I was feeling like I heard one for over one hour after I got rid of it. I felt like it was there and my skin was like it landed on me. I had to shower for an hour. I was absolutely terrified and when I first told someone about it they made fun about it like showing me photos, which are not triggering me, but I still had to show them that this really exists and then they stopped laughing so I am sure they just didn’t know it was something that exists or that I was joking about it. I am glad I was taken seriously. But I can’t explain how horrible I felt. This feeling of being alone and that there is no one to help was like the feeling I had when I lost my mom and brother. I hope I will get over it. I don’t wanna live a life in fear. I wish every single one of you all the best and I feel so much better already just knowing there are people who understand what I go through.
Arwen Alter says
I have the same problem. My worst experience was when there were THREE in my room and I didn’t want to wake anyone, so I just sat there watching them completely frozen. I couldn’t breathe and almost passed out. No one takes me seriously when this happens and they laugh at me but they honestly are terrifying. I’m glad people can relate because my family doesn’t get it.
I’m a 30 year old man who had a tough upbringing so therefore I had no choice but to become tough. The one thing that will make me run away and start shaking as if I was on fire is seeing a moth in my house. The last time it happened I had my 24 year old sister catch it in a cup as she put the lid on it and humanely released it outside. If they get in the bathroom I’ll attempt to whip them with a towel. The last time I attempted this it flew at me and I jumped up and down and shook my body violently while shutting the door and sprinting away. If I so much as see a picture of one I shudder and chills go down my spine. My family makes fun of me and says they are harmless. I’ve worked hard my whole life and I’ve been to prison and came out on the other side to maintain long term recovery and make an impact in my community and return to being a productive member of society and provide for my 2 beautiful daughters. Not much instills true intense fear in me except moths so don’t feel bad or shameful. I’m the last person you would ever expect to fear anything let alone moths!
I relate so hard with that. I can’t even look at an image without feeling them crawling all over me, let alone seeing one in person! I don’t even attempt to take care of them myself, I just scream and run and hope someone takes care of it for me. There was this one time a few years ago I asked someone to get a big moth out of my bedroom (I slept in the living room that night because I didn’t even want to be in my room). A family member grabbed it in a container and walked to put it outside, I was hiding behind a bathroom door waiting for them to say they took care of it. They said their usual “out you go” (like their special way of mocking me), and I left the bathroom. The same person had the moth and was standing near me, and then they decided to release the moth right next to me. I’m quite timid unless very fearful or provoked, but I threw hands that night.
So my fear started when I was only 2 (in fact it’s my first memory). I had a nightmare that i was in my aunt’s kitchen and i was trying to open the refrigerator and when i did a ton of moths flew out at me and then my grandma (who had cancer and lost her hair and teeth ) came into the kitchen and took her wig off and her teeth out and jumped and turned into Tucan Sam and started to fly around with the moths! I remember waking up and screaming and crying “the mops the mops” (because I was so young I thought they were called mops, later to find out that they have a “th” not a “p”.
One of the worst panic attacks happened when I was just dating my husband. He was sound asleep and I knew better then to wake him up over this huge moth that flew in the room. I’m not even exaggerating, this thing was as big as my hand! He got me an electric fly swatter and modified it so that it ran off 2 ecig batteries that never left my side during spring and summer nights. It flew around my room several times before I pulled a Serena Williams on it and it landed in this corner cabinet thing we had. It was knocked out so I quickly grabbed a long grabber pole from the closet and some double sided tape and a clear folder that I unfolded and I quickly used the grabber pole to apply the double sided tape to the sides of the cabinet and then also using the grabber pole I placed the clear folder so that it created a completely sealed off enclosure. I even contemplated calling orkin or terminex to come get rid of it until I remembered my husband who was still fast asleep, so I just went out to the living room and fell asleep. I was awoken by my husband saying what is going on. I knew that he just woke up to see the spectacle from the night before and I jumped up to yell at him to not touch it until he knows the giant moth is for sure dead. Just as I said that it came to life and hit the clear folder so hard it almost ripped it off the tape! So I ran out of the room screaming and crying. I don’t know how he killed it but I wouldn’t let him outta the room til it was dead. Then he flushed that terrifying beast down the toilet (yay husband!).
Then a few weeks after he passed away I was cleaning out the back shed and I moved some rolled up posters that were stuffed in the rafters and this huge giant dead moth fell and I nearly had a heart attack, but I got a close up look at that thing and its mouth was wide open and made it look like a slight human-ish expression. I could even see its teeth, the moth was that big! I’ve never seen anything like it and my heart was racing so fast and loud. All I could hear was my heart beating in my ears i was almost hyperventilating and i was screaming with my mouth closed in fear it could come back to life and fly into my mouth.
Everybody makes fun of my phobia but it’s not funny, it’s a nightmare. A real life nightmare literally!
Since I was a child I’ve always hated moths but I’ve learned more about these creatures over time and realized that they: 1 cannot harm me if they tried to but don’t anyway, 2 the only reason for being is to find a mate and die, this continues the cycle of caterpillars etc. Now I wake in a gas station on night shift so I’ve seen all kinds. Face the fear and make it disappear.
I was at a night baseball game in San Diego at Jack Murphy stadium. Enough said. I was with my brother (we were both adults) and I told him there’s no way I can sit there while huge moths were dive bombing around.
My poor brother: “I can’t believe we have to watch the game on the TV in the concession stand at the stadium”. Patient, kind big brother. Those tickets aren’t cheap either. I now call it Jack Nicholson stadium lol (The Shining).
Another fabulous moment was when I was in my karate dojo and a huge moth flew in and started darting around the lights. Here I was trying to be a badass woman and I really didn’t want to end up running out of there screaming like a schoolgirl from a MOTH omg. Fortunately the thing flew right out again.
As a dog trainer, I know that an awesome way to help dogs with their phobias is extremely gradual exposure to the stimulus and use positive reinforcement. I just don’t know how I’m supposed to find moths gradually over time in graduating sizes and work on sitting down with them for a nice chat or whatever.
By the way, what is with all the parents that I’m reading here in these comments being so cruel and unsympathetic with their child’s phobia? These kids should find out what their parent’s irrational phobia is (everybody has one) and force it on them and see how they like it. Just ridiculous.
Finally an adult that actually gets what it’s like.
Katie Kemp says
Tonight i heard a noise so i turned on my light and this huge moth flew into my mouth. I started freaking out, i spat it out and smacked it with a book and burst into tears. My parents did not understand.
That’s the absolute worst thing I have ever heard!
Need Bug Repellent says
Even reading this makes me feel anxious, I just hate moths they are absolutely terrifying and if I’m in a room with one of the creatures I’m scared to move as they may start moving.
I am extremely scared of moths ever since one decided to land on the back of my head when I was like 9.
Im not afraid of the moth itself as much as the flapping. Im okay with butterflies because whenever i see them they are outside or headed towards a window. Since moths are more night creatures they seem to fly towards light and flap violently which terrifies me. Especially with big ones, the flapping reminds me of a small bird and it scares me so much that i think its gonna come and attack me or something. With small moths i seem to violently attack or swipe at them in a panicked manner, or run off asking my mum to deal with it
I’m so terrified of moths and everyone thinks I’m crazy, my dad forced me to sleep in my room with one that came in and I was just sobbing uncontrollably, and having a full blown panic attack, I could feel it crawling on me, even though there was nothing there.
I know, one time I left my window open because it was stuffy but little did I know moths flew inside and when they did I cried for my mom to come “save” me and I couldn’t sleep all night
One time back when I was in sixth grade I was staying over at my friends house for her birthday party. It was fun and all then we decided to spend the night in her camper thing. I was still fine with that but then moths started flying around the lights and I hid under my blanket while her and her mom told me I was being ridiculous.
I’m on my way to my sisters house because a moth is in my room, this is the 2nd time this week one has been in my room. I can’t stand them, every time my uncle has gone to look for it they both has disappeared so he thinks I’m imagining it.
Call CPS because you have mottephobia and your dad doesn’t listen to your mistakes.
Also i hope all the moths in your house dies.
Omg same, funny enough I’m in my room crying and scared out of my mind because there’s a moth and it’s just gone down the back of my Tv but I’m scared to move or touch the floor to go get my dad and ask him to get rid of it, the worst part is that I was looking up ways to rid of a moth and came across things like vampire moths and moths that can kill you and that’s not helping whatsoever, not gonna lie I’m literally just sitting on my bed with my hockey stick ready to kill it and trying to listen to music to calm myself down, god I’m so scared!
Yeah.. i here can’t go take a shower to bath cause there are two moths in there. I was like already gonna take my shirt off then i saw one of them just chilling on the shower curtain and i freeze and slowly walked out of the bathroom and closed the door. Then I went to sit on the couch and started crying. Im alone in the house so i called my mom and told her what’s going on. She just said kill it and i was like how. ”Find courage to do it” and then she hung up. I kept crying though and i was breathing fast. But if I would tell my parents that i might have a phobia for moths they would just laugh it off and say ridiculous! Im scared out of my a**!
Same, I will come running and crying out of my room and nobody will understand why I’m scared.
I don’t cry when I see moths but I’ll run away from them and sometimes scream a little. Everyone in my Sami thinks I’m just pretending to get out of doing something. I don’t like going outside at night if the porch light is on.
Jayne Wright says
Personally, I think that there is no cure for whatever fear/phobia you have. Once you have it, severely, there’s no cure – or it is very difficult to find one. Especially with this, mottephobia – I have it really bad. But some people say that research shows that the only way to get over your fear is to confront it head-on. Now I ask those people: How on earth are you supposed to do that if you can’t even think of that fear or even see it??
I am terrified of moths, just now a moth crawled into my room through a window, and I freaked out. My mom and dad yelled at me afterwards that they are just bugs, and that I overreact whenever I see one. Like when my family was eating dinner a huge moth came in and was buzzing around the ceiling fan, I freaked out and my dad yelled at me to calm down, and that it was just, and I quote, just a f***ing moth. How can I make them understand what is happening because I tried to tell them before, but they wouldn’t listen, they just keep denying it
I am so terrified of moths that I can’t even think of them. The worst is the flapping motion of their wings and their speed. I have no idea where that fear came from. Whenever I see a moth in my house I panic and whenever I see it fly I scream, sweat and my heartbeat speeds up so I freeze after that. Moths are the most TERRIFYING and DISGUSTING creatures.
They’re like freakin ninjas.
I have been scared of bugs all my life, but I have mostly had to encounter moths and butterflies, so I mainly associate my fear with them. tbh, I think some of them are cute, but they still terrify me no matter what. There have been times when we have left the door open in the dining room and the light attracted a few moths, and I refused to go in there to eat dinner. My mom would get so angry with me, though. She would push me into the room while I was screaming and crying. She kept telling me that I was “being stupid”. My entire family still laughs at me for it.
Same! I always felt bad but like this kinda fear you can’t help
Tell your mom you got a fear of moths and if she laughed,tell her that would you feel bad if theres a serial killer in your room and you want to escape but someone is blocking the exit and he just laughs at your reply?
(also say this at the end) Doesn’t it feel bad?
(if she didn’t listen at all,call human services or something because that is torture)
I think moths are cool in concept, but I’m absolutely terrified every time I see them. Which is… a lot more often lately since apparently my girlfriend’s house is a hot spot for them in the summer. My phobia started with my family talking about this person who had a moth fly in their ear and could feel it moving around. I overheard that LOVELY conversation at 5 and I’ve been terrified ever since
At least you don’t live in the same state where the MOTHMAN is from. I live a few counties away thank gosh.
I’m 15 and if I see them on a wall I’ll smash them but then I’ll leave it as a warning sign for other moths.
I came to this website because a moment ago a moth flew into my room and I started running around in a circle and say things like get the f out and I was not even aware that I was talking to an insect at that moment in time, the moth is still in my room resting on the wall but for some reason they only scare me when they are flying around. But I’m scared to throw something just in case I miss and it starts flying around again
I am nine and I am so scared of moths. Everytime I see a tiny moth stuck on a wall, I scream and hide upstairs
I am twenty-five and I do that too.
I’m 45 and it never ends lol
I am 65 and have been terrified of moths since I can remember. Will jump out a 2nd story window to get away from a large one. Total panic. Avoided jobs where I might encounter moths. Debilitating.
This had gotten me into troubles so many times because whenever I sees a moth anywhere, I literally would NOT go near that place! People thinks it is irrational and they don’t understand! I am absolutely petrified of them and live in constant fear of having to confront one. It’s getting crippling and I have no idea what to do, sooo…
Sumita Ray says
So good to know I am not alone in this stupid irrational fear ! – My experience makes me feel that moths are the living embodiment of panic – they are like a panic attack in creature form – they may be attracted to people who suffer anxiety (am guessing through chemical signals emitted through the skin from fear/anxiety) and are the physical showing of internal fear, If you can be strong enough to not kill them and try (start small) to catch them and set them free OUTSIDE you may find that they don’t CHASE you so much. I have been frightened of moths and butterflies for as long as I can remember, but moths especially, as they are more often in the home. I feel that moths are not only attracted to light but also to the panic of those that fear them!
Andrea R Kohler says
I can not even express how comforting it is to see someone else describe what I have known/felt my entire life. Thank you for putting into words what I have never been able to till I read yours, moths ARE attracted to the fear/panic of one who is deathly afraid of them. Moths have come after me deliberately all my life!
Room full of people, 20+, the ginormous Japanese moth (miller moth) that just flew in through the open back door comes straight at me, hits me in my face several times. I’m in full blown hysteria. The monster moths then gets tangled in my very long hair and as I’m literally losing my grip on sanity, my then boyfriend proceeded to smash/pull the moth out of my hair, killing it and leaving pieces of wings and end trails smash down the lengthy of my hair. I literally only remember short flashes of the events that came after and will forever fear the most disgusting and terrifying bugs ever created!
I mean really, what are those damn flying nightmares even good/beneficial at?
Moths are cute :)
Jannah Vincent Loves Pandas says
moths are TERRIFYING
I think you missed the point
Don’t you mean pictures of moths? I can see them and think, awww cute boi but if one gets near me, or worse POUNCES on me from a wall or something I freak.
I’m terrified of moths and i get made fun of because of that.
Yesterday i went to the bathroom and there was a moth in there. I get somebody to kill it for me and its not there, so he leaves, calling me crazy. I left and waited for half an hour to get over the image of the moth. I go back and its there again, i immediately run out of the bathroom. I went to go back to the person but he’s sleeping. So after about 5 minutes i grab the fly swatter, slowly open the door and i attempted to hit. It starts to fly around, i slam the door shut. I try again, i missed it and it flies around, i slam the door. I gave up and i tried to go to sleep. P.S. i really had to poop.
Jannah Vincent Loves Pandas says
*shudder* thats terrifying..
I can’t imagine the picture tbh,its that horrifying
I have an extreme fear of moths. I’m staying at my friends and I made the mistake of having the window open because I was so hot, 4 huge moths flew in and I started to panic so bad. I had a dry mouth, my heart was beating so fast, I was sweating and crying. My friend tried to get them out for me and she told me that she’s got them all out but I didn’t see where they went, so I’m now way too scared to go to sleep. All I want to do is sit here and cry. I’ve got one trapped under a glass, so that’s not helping at all. I’m begging you to help me to get over these, because I really don’t know how and I’m losing my mind. I feel so stupid to be this scared over a stupid creature!
Jannah Vincent Loves Pandas says
i’m scared too… i know this won’t help, since it didn’t help me… but they can’t hurt you. even if they LOOK beyond terrifying, they are like a butterfly (only scarier) they’re gentle, (maybe colourless, but still) graceful creatures!
You do understand that Mottephobia is also the fear of butterflies, correct Jannah?
No it’s not. Motte is moth in German. Lepidopterophobia is the fear of butterflies and moths.
Right now I am twenty years old and absolutely terrified of moths.
I have no idea where the fear came from. When I was much younger they didn’t bother me as much as they do today.
Although it might have something to do with a holiday trip I had to the Belgian ardennes. I stayed there for a full week, in springtime, on a camping where big lantern posts were found everywhere.
I always saw them flying at the top, but I never really saw one on ground level.
Until one particular day. I zipped open my tent to find out a huge moth had crawled in there. Fluttering around and hitting the tent everywhere.
I did not sleep in that tent ever again actually.
not to be dramatic or anything but I would’ve died right there on the spot ..
When ever a moth gets in I start uncontrollably screaming and crying. It’s becoming too much to handle. As soon as February rolls around my anxiety awakens. I start preparing myself. No one in my family respects my fear and they only laugh at me and open windows and leave doors open. I’m told I’m an “immature crybaby” but I can’t help it. I wish I could get over it but I can’t 😧
When I was six my grandmother, a real old fashioned mountain woman, carries three cocoons in the house and announces that they will hatch into beautiful butterflies. Enthralled with the idea, everyday I came home from school and ran in the bedroom to check in the butterflies… One day they weren’t there. I was so disappointed. I turned to go and then I saw it. About an inch above the light switch…. A huge green moth. One of the BIG ones. Motion then catches my eye. Another of the bastards was fluttering on the ceiling and another one the mirror. Too much. I ran out like I was on fire and wouldn’t go back to her house for weeks. Even writing this now I’m getting goose pimples just recalling it! I hate them all now. Big,small, whatever. I hate their fur and that awful powder that sticks on ur skin. I hate them so much I don’t want to get hypnotherapy to better myself. Just the idea of not caring if they touch me icks me out!
I have the same awful experience as you do.
Wow Jacob.. thankyou so much for providing this site. I’m not sure how I haven’t stumbled across this earlier as I’ve been desperately searching for answers for many years now. I’ve had a very severe fear of vomiting (I once couldn’t bring myself to even write the word!) – thankfully that has become more manageable now after working with a psychologist. I also struggle with the fear of failure (probably because of the perfectionist in me and the high expectations I hold over myself which I’m working on) but the phobia that causes me the greatest amount of distress, mostly because I can’t figure out how to get rid of it, is this one.. Mottephobia.
I am absolutely petrified of the things and unfortunately, every spring through to summer our house is plagued with the huge brown ones and I live in constant fear and dread of being spooked by one. My room is in the attic and they seem to accumulate there, making it often impossible for me to fall asleep and I can’t enter my hallway until a family member’s given the all clear. I’m 19 and have been struggling with this for as long as I can remember but have never been able to find any sort of relief apart from trying to avoid them as much as possible.
Every year I tell myself I’m going to come up with a solution before the next moth season comes but I’ve never been able to find anything. Even my psychologist is lost for what to do. We have just entered into spring and I am dreading life for the next few months. I would love to be able to enjoy the spring time and the summer and not be constantly on edge and having massive emotional breakdowns every time I see a stupid bug! I don’t usually reach out for help on any of these things but it’s getting ridiculous and I’m pretty desperate for an answer. I’m assuming that some sort of exposure therapy is what I probably need to look into doing, but the thought of embarking on something like that is terrifying in itself. Despite this fact, I would be willing to give it a go if I knew that it would be beneficial and not just make things worse. Would love to hear any advice you might have on this.
Thanks so much :)
The pain is real. I wish I could say it gets easier as you get older but I’m 30 something and still run out of the room screaming with my mouth closed as I fear it will fly into my mouth. I literally live with a modified electric fly swatter that runs on 2 e-cigarette batteries as soon as spring hits until the fall. I hate the fear and exposure therapy made it worse. I too am at a loss. Sorry I couldn’t offer up some advice.
Ok, so today one of my worst nightmares came true, I woke up to a rustling of a Doritos bag, only to see a gigantic moth under it. I jumped up, outing on my hoodie for armor as I then jumped the side. I lost sight of it only to have it fly up my leg. I ran upstairs and I didn’t know what to do! My roommate thinks it’s irrational, and I know that! So he won’t let me get a bug bomb. Any other ideas how to kill it? And I am not going to go down there and check if it’s a meal moth or a cloth moth.