fear of centipedes

Understanding The Fear of Centipedes

In this article, we will explore the fear of centipedes, its causes, and ways to overcome it. Centipedes are elongated and segmented creatures that belong to the arthropod family. These creatures have a reputation for their numerous legs, pincers, and venomous bite, which can cause pain, swelling, and redness. However, despite their reputation, centipedes are not typically harmful to humans and are considered beneficial as they feed on other pests. Despite this, some individuals have a strong and irrational fear of these creatures, known as arthropodophobia. This fear can lead to significant anxiety and distress, impacting daily life and wellbeing.

Understanding the Fear of Centipedes

Arthropodophobia is a type of specific phobia, which is an irrational and excessive fear of a specific object or situation. Individuals with arthropodophobia experience intense fear and anxiety when they encounter centipedes or even just think about them. This fear can become so intense that it interferes with their daily activities and routines.

Reasons Behind Fear of Centipedes


The appearance of centipedes is a major reason behind the fear of these creatures. Their elongated body with multiple legs and the way they move can be frightening to some individuals. The creepy appearance of centipedes makes many people feel disgust and aversion.

Painful Bite

Centipedes are known to have a painful bite. They have sharp claws, and they can easily bite through human skin. This can be extremely painful and scary, especially for people who have a fear of centipedes.

Association with Venom

Many species of centipedes are venomous, and this venom can cause serious harm to humans. This can also trigger fear in people who are already afraid of these creatures. The association of centipedes with venom can further increase their fear.

Historical Significance

Centipedes have been associated with danger and evil since ancient times. In many cultures, centipedes were believed to be a symbol of death, and were considered as a bad omen. This historical significance of centipedes has contributed to the fear of these creatures in many individuals.

Similarity to Other Creepy Creatures

Centipedes are often compared to other creepy creatures like spiders, snakes, and scorpions. This similarity can make them even more frightening for people who have a fear of these creatures.

Childhood Experiences

Fear of centipedes can also develop from childhood experiences. Children who have encountered centipedes at a young age may have a strong negative reaction to them. This experience can create a lasting fear that continues into adulthood.

Tips to Overcome The Fear of Centipedes

Educate Yourself About Centipedes

One of the first things to do when overcoming your fear of centipedes is to educate yourself about them. Learn about their anatomy, behavior, and habitats. Understanding that centipedes do not pose a threat to humans will help reduce your fear.

Face Your Fear

The next step to overcoming your fear of centipedes is to face it. This means gradually exposing yourself to centipedes in a safe and controlled environment. Start by looking at pictures of centipedes and then progress to watching videos of them. If you live in an area where centipedes are common, try to observe them in their natural habitats.

Use Visualization Techniques

Visualization is a powerful tool to help you overcome your fear of centipedes. Imagine yourself in a calm and relaxed state while in the presence of centipedes. Visualize yourself handling them without feeling any fear or anxiety. Repeat this visualization several times a day until you feel comfortable with the idea.

Practice Deep Breathing

When you are exposed to centipedes, you may experience an increase in heart rate and breathing. To overcome this, practice deep breathing. Focus on inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply. This will help you calm down and reduce your fear.

Use Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are statements that you repeat to yourself to help change negative thought patterns. Use positive affirmations to help overcome your fear of centipedes. For example, repeat the statement, “I am safe and in control in the presence of centipedes.”

Seek Professional Help

If your fear of centipedes is affecting your daily life, consider seeking professional help. A therapist can help you work through your fear and provide you with coping strategies.

Treatments For Overcoming the Fear of Centipedes

If you or someone you know is struggling with arthropodophobia, there are several strategies that can help overcome this fear and reduce anxiety. These strategies include:

  • Exposure therapy: This type of therapy involves gradually exposing the individual to their fear in a controlled and safe environment. Over time, this exposure can help reduce the fear and anxiety associated with centipedes.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on changing negative and irrational thoughts and beliefs associated with centipedes. This therapy can help individuals recognize and challenge their fears and develop more positive and rational thoughts and beliefs.
  • Medications: In some cases, medications, such as anti-anxiety or anti-depressants, may be prescribed to help manage symptoms of arthropodophobia.

3 Phobias Similar to The Fear of Centipedes

1. Myrmecophobia (Fear of Ants)

Myrmecophobia is the fear of ants and is similar to the fear of centipedes. Both insects are small, have many legs, and can crawl into tight spaces, making it difficult for someone with this phobia to avoid them. The sight of ants or centipedes can cause a person with Myrmecophobia to experience intense anxiety, sweating, shaking, and even a panic attack.

2. Arachnophobia (Fear of Spiders)

Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders and is also similar to the fear of centipedes. Both insects have many legs and can move quickly, making them difficult to avoid for someone with this phobia. The sight of a spider or centipede can cause a person with Arachnophobia to experience intense anxiety, sweating, shaking, and even a panic attack.

3. Entomophobia (Fear of Insects)

Entomophobia is the fear of insects and encompasses the fear of centipedes and other insects. This phobia can be caused by a traumatic experience with insects, such as a centipede bite or a spider crawling on the person. The fear of insects can greatly impact an individual’s life, making it difficult for them to enjoy outdoor activities, travel, or even stay in their own home if insects are present.


The fear of centipedes is a common specific phobia that can cause significant distress and impact daily life. However, there are several effective strategies that can help individuals overcome this fear, including exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, medications, relaxation techniques, and lifestyle changes. If you or someone you know is struggling with arthropodophobia, it is important to seek support and treatment to help manage and overcome this fear.

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