Ants are often portrayed as pesky little nuisances who appear at picnics, but they also have a more sinister reputation. Killer ants have appeared (in a CGI format) in films like Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. When you develop a persistent and intense fear of ants, you suffer from Myrmecophobia.
Are You Afraid Of Ants?
Why do people fear ants? Ants are able to sting and injure humans with their bites. There are many different types of ants, and some of them are dangerous. Fire ants react to human scent, and they can attack a human being by crawling up their legs. These ants tend to swarm their victim. The sting from a fire ant hurts, and one can imagine the impact of being stung by hundreds or thousands of ants in one attack. Often, fire ants are at the root of Myrmecophobia. People with red ant stings require medical attention.
Killer Ants Are Scary
The image of the killer ant has been depicted in a series of films, and these movies have contributed to Myrmecophobia. For example, ants were used as a plot device in the newest Indiana Jones film, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. In this film, the ants were created through the wonders of CGI. They swarmed in vast numbers.
While some moviegoers found the computer-generated ants laughable, others were frightened (as the director intended). Other, lower-budget films in the horror or shock genres have utilized ants as monstrous insects that prey on human beings.
Aside from the dreaded killer ants, other types of ants also have defense mechanisms that can harm or frighten human beings. For example, black ants can spray an acid at their enemies. This squirting of formic acid causes deters parasites.
Ants Can Be Annoying
Ants can also be a major nuisance. They occur in great numbers almost anywhere that humans congegrate (out of doors). They crawl on food and on human bodies. Anyone with a phobia about food hygiene and cleanliness may also suffer from the fear of ants, because they contaminate food that is eaten out of doors.
Carpenter ants are another member of the ant family that causes consternation in human beings. The tend to feast on the wood in trees, causing damage to residential landscaping and also safety hazards. Large, black ants often seek out decayed wood, their favorite “food”.
Alllergies Are A Trigger
Some people are extremely allergic to jumping ants. A single sting can be enough to kill. These ants have a distinctive yellow and black colorations, and their bites or stings can trigger dangerous drops in blood pressures, as well as swollen airways which prohibit proper breathing.
Obviously, in the case of a severe allergy, a phobia like Myrmecophobia is quite understandable. In order to protect oneself from ants, the person must expend a great deal of time and energy avoid the insects. Parents with children who suffer from the allergy may become anxious and even depressed because they feel powerless to protect their child.
However, phobias can develop without a serious trigger like a dangerous allergy. People may fear ants simply because they loathe the idea of insects near or on their own bodies. The idea of ants crawling on the skin can be repulsive to many people. In general, most people have an aversion to many insects. Since some carry diseases and germs, it is a natural response that is meant for self-protection.
Symptoms And Treatment Of Fear Of Ants
Phobias can get out of hand when someone begins to shape their life around their fears. The person with fear of ants may avoid any outdoor activities, and, in doing so, miss out on important family gatherings, romantic dates, or other such social events.
The use of insecticides and other forms of bug sprays and chemicals may also get out of hand for the person with Myrmecophobia.
People with this phobia should speak to a therapist who can help them get at the root of their fears and move on.