Fear of Ladybugs, What It Is, How and Why It Occurs, How to Beat It

Ladybug Facts, Ladybug Guides /

Have a fear of ladybugs? These cute little Ladybug creatures come in all kinds of cute little colors, there are red and orange, and black ones of course, as well as unusual colors like white, yellow, blue, and even purple … well maybe!

Am I scaring you? Well if I am then that could be because you have a fear of Ladybugs. But you’re not alone, thousands – indeed probably hundreds of thousands of people across the globe have a similar fear, some even have a wider fear of more than just Ladybugs.

Let’s dive in a little deeper, but first, the quick answer for you.

Fear of Ladybugs? There is an officially recognized fear of Ladybugs (Ladybirds) known as Coccinellidaephobia. This forms part of a wider fear called Entomophobia which is a known fear of one or more insect varieties. Sufferers may incur similar reactions to other phobias, such as sweating or increased breathing.

Fear of Ladybugs

But why would a person be afraid of Ladybugs? Well, let’s take a look at why.

Entomophobia / Insectophobia

I’m going to go into Entomophobia (also called Insectophobia) a little more in a later article but for now, suffice it to say, it does exist as a recognized phobia of either just one, a few, many or all insect varieties. It can manifest itself in different ways for different people – but symptoms are akin to those of other phobias.

Coccinellidaephobia is simply an extension of Entomophobia, being specific to Coccinellidae – or ladybugs

Here’s an audio recording of how to pronounce ‘Coccinellidaephobia

Audio recording of Coccinellidaephobia

Fear of Ladybugs – What Causes Coccinellidaephobia

Like many other phobias, there is often a trigger to this kind of irrational state. After all, most people suffering from this would know deep down that it’s just a harmless insect, in fact, they probably know ladybugs are great beneficial insects. In most cases, people almost feel foolish for having such a fear – but they shouldn’t.

We have to recognise that fears are indeed irrational, but to the sufferer, they’re very real states of mental and physical emotion brought about by a trigger element.

Often the trigger is a past incident, perhaps a childhood encounter with a Bloom of Ladybugs, or an uneasy feeling of the Ladybug that landed on them. Perhaps as a child they accidentally swallowed one (not pleasant really). The point is it could be invoked by a plethora of potential experiences.

So when does it happen and what does a sufferer of Coccinellidaephobia feel like?

When Does Coccinellidaephobia Occur?

This may occur at different moments for different people. For some this will merely be the sight of a Ladybug, it might be a sighting regardless of the color. It could be specific to certain colors.

Alternatively, it could be when the sufferer sees a Ladybug with its wings (Elytra) extended open, or perhaps when a Ladybug is in flight or when there’s a whole group of them.

For others, it might be when a Ladybug lands on them. Perhaps the sensation of the Ladybug on their skin, or a tangent of being afraid of being bitten.

If you were to ask a sufferer what it was about them that they feared, there’s a good chance they could be very specific about the circumstances in which it’s okay and those in which it’s not.

Symptoms of Coccinellidaephobia

Much the same as other phobias, the recipient could suffer a number of symptoms, the main ones being those below and generally increasing in fear with increased proximity…

  • Fight, flight or freeze Syndrome
  • Tearful
  • Cold sweats or sweating
  • Raised hair follicles
  • Shivering/shaking
  • Nausea
  • Feeling Flushed
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased breathing and heart rate

So how do you overcome a fear of ladybugs?

How to Overcome Coccinellidaephobia

If you want proper medical advice, then I’d recommend consulting a doctor, or a specialist therapist who deals with phobias. But as a general rule when dealing with phobias, here are some steps you could take to overcome them

STEP 1 – Recognition

And by that, I don’t just mean accepting that you may have it, but also ask your friends and family to understand it is a real thing for you and request their support rather than any potentially light-hearted ridicule.

STEP 2 – Assessment

Is it actually a problem for you to suffer from this, is it important for you that you get over this feeling, does it occur often enough to warrant some self-help, or does it prevent you from living your life? If the answer is yes – it is important, then read on.

STEP 3 – Learning

More often than not, we usually have a greater fear of things we do not know or understand. Starting a new job, or having an operation might be good examples. By learning more about the subject we’re more likely to remove the fear we may have developed over them.

Start by learning something small about them, perhaps once a day pick up a book and pick out some new detail you didn’t know.

This website may help, I’d recommend two articles to ease you into the subject and get you started – plus they contain no scary Ladybug images.

66 Surprising Facts About Ladybugs

or Ladybug Frequently Asked Questions

Once you’ve learned plenty about them, try the next step.

STEP 4 – Imagery

Often, one way we must face our fears is by exposure. But I’m not suggesting you buy ladybugs, even though you can actually buy ladybugs! What I’d suggest is that you embark on a gradual process of exposure to these creatures.

Start small, and have a small desktop icon on your PC, or Laptop. Or have one lying around your desk or on a pin board.

Nowhere that might scare you. But where you’re likely to come in frequent contact with it. Perhaps start with one of my own cartoon Ladybug collection below. Then maybe upgrade to some real-life images later.

ladybug characters - fear of ladybugs

STEP 5 – Contact

Once you’ve got used to having Ladybugs in your eye-line. If you feel comfortable enough, then start to look for them in real life, perhaps remain at a distance to start with, then slowly increase your contact with them. If at any point it doesn’t feel comfortable, then move back a step or two.

Increased exposure should have the effect of reconditioning the brain, desensitizing it, and retraining it against the learned response it previously had. But remember, if in doubt seek professional counsel.

Fear of Ladybugs – Conclusion

I hope this has been helpful to you, as I said earlier I’d love to hear your comments if you have a fear of Ladybugs in any circumstance. Plus I hope my non-professional therapy 5 Steps advice helps you in some way.

You never know, you may come to love Ladybugs!

7 Replies to “Fear of Ladybugs, What It Is, How and Why It Occurs, How to Beat It”

  1. Thank you for writing this article, I always felt silly for fearing ladybugs and nobody believes me until they witness my reaction to them. As a kid I encountered a ladybug infestation at the beach which we had to leave, but not before they filled the car and got into all kinds of crevices. They bit me too quite a lot. I am also afraid of crushing them because they are so small and fragile which I did accidentally on that traumatic day. Now when I even think about them or see images I feel them crawling all over me- even now. I was assigned to paint my greatest fear in art school and I painted myself covered in ladybugs. It was amusing to my friends but really hard to paint and think about them. I’ll try these techniques to get over it hopefully because I hate running away or having to leave the vehicle or room if theres a single ladybug in it. It really sucks haha. Thanks again!

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience Molly, I hope you manage to conquer your fear, but if not then rest assured there are worse and more inconvenient fears out there 🙂

  2. Very interesting article. I was just trying to convince my husband this was a real thing. Until the age of four, my family lived in a farm house that was totally infested with lady bugs in the fall and winter. It was so bad that mom rigged a fly strip with a bowl attached to it under the kitchen table light to keep them somewhat from getting on our food. She says the strip would be full in less than an hour. I remember being dive bomed by them, having them in my food, having them fly in my face and mouth, (they taste bitter) and being bitten by them. I can’t even stand the sight of one lady bug. If I can’t leave the room i keep exact tabs on its whereabouts untill someone else can kill it.

  3. Thank you so much for this article I can’t wait to try your steps out. I’ve lived in the countryside since birth and every year we get so many ladybugs surrounding the house and even a lot indoors. The times they scare me the most is when they’re flying, near me, in my bed, around or in the shower, really anywhere I’m supposed to feel safe. It can get so bad, like just 20 minutes ago, that I start to have a panic attack. I got terrified when they would all keep on coming back to my room. There mustve been at least 10 that kept on coming back in the span of 2 minutes. I always felt so stupid that I kept blackout curtains and my door closed all the time when my friends would come over and they’d think I was weird. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has this phobia though. I really hope your steps will work. Thank you so much again for the article!

  4. Thank you for the article! I have been petrified of ladybugs ever since I was three or four years old. I was at one of my preschool friend’s birthday party, and there were ladybugs everywhere. When my mom came to pick me up, I felt this creeping sensation on my neck as I got in her van. I flung it away, and freaked out when I saw it was a ladybug. They have creeped me out ever since, and it gets to the point where I would throw my phone across the room if I accidentally bring up a photo of one. People tend to joke when I tell them about some of my irrational fears (the other is stickers and the sticky residue they leave behind), so I’ve been wanting to do something about this for a long time. Hopefully some of these steps will help. Thank you!

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