Spheksophobia – How To Overcome Fear Of Wasps

folder_openHymenoptera, Insecta
commentNo Comments

Do you suffer from the fear of wasps (Spheksophobia)? In the article below, we look at why it happens and what you can do about it.

Do you know there are over 300 types of phobias in the world? Nearly 10% of the world’s population suffers from one or another form of phobia.

In your daily life, it is common to come across people who have a fear of snakes, spiders, mice, and more.

Similarly, people often suffer from a fear or phobia of wasps.

Wasps are insects that can deliver painful stings. Hence, it is okay to be scared of them to an extent.

Mammoth Wasp

But are you terrified of them? Does the mere thought of a wasp send chills down your spine?

If yes, then this condition can be called a phobia of wasps.

This article will help you understand and tackle the irrational fear of wasps.

What is Spheksophobia?

Spheksophobia is derived from the Greek words “Spheco,” which means wasps, and “Phobos,” who is the “Greek god of fear.”

As is clear from the name itself, spheksophobia is an irrational fear of wasps. In this situation, you can feel highly panicky at the mere thought of a wasp.

Yes, wasps can appear scary, but are they dangerous to humans?

Many people suffer from apiphobia (fear of bees) and entomophobia (fear of insects), but should they be scared of wasps too?

Let us find out.

Are Wasps Dangerous?

Wasps have stingers, and most of them can deliver painful stings. However, not all wasps are aggressive.

Mud daubers, cicada killers, and digger wasps are a few that are less aggressive and rarely attack humans.

However, species like yellow jacket wasps are notorious for their attacking habits.

These insects are highly aggressive and can inflict excruciating pain through the stinger.

Hence, we must be careful around them to stay safe from wasp stings.

Possible Causes of Spheksophobia

Fear of wasps usually stems from the fact that these insects have deadly stings.

Also, unlike bees, wasps do not leave the stinger in the victim’s body

They have smoother stingers that can penetrate and be retracted, so they can sting a person multiple times.

If you have seen or experienced a wasp sting earlier, it is normal to have this fear.

These stings leave behind a burning sensation and can be agonizingly painful.

Wasp Moth

Also, the pain, swelling, and inflammation last for almost a week. Having such a bizarre experience can instill a persistent fear of these insects.

The simple mention of these insects being harmful around children creates extreme fear, especially in young ones.

For example, if you keep repeating how dangerous and painful wasp stings are, younger children will most likely develop a fear of these insects.

Media and television also play a crucial role in influencing people.

If you watch videos of wasp attacks or incidents where people get stung by these insects, you will probably start fearing the insects more.

Symptoms of Spheksophobia

To get rid of the fear of wasps, you must first know the symptoms.

Getting panic attacks is a common symptom of wasp phobia. Here, a mere look or thought of a wasp can trigger the fight-or-flight instinct in the body.

This causes an adrenaline rush. Here are a few other common wasp phobia symptoms:

  • The increased flow of adrenaline in the body will make you feel like running away. You will observe shaking, shivering, and sweating.
  • The extreme fear of wasps can increase the heart rate and intensify breathing. This can lead to high blood pressure.
  • The extent of fear can be highly extreme. In rare cases, you might feel so overwhelmed by the thoughts of being attacked by wasps that you will start feeling detached from reality.
  • Sometimes the adrenaline rush can also cause dizziness, and you might faint. Nausea and vomiting are also some common symptoms.

If you are a victim of Spheksophobia, you will usually avoid going on sunny days when wasps are around.

You will also avoid places like gardens, flower shops, jungles, and bushes.

How to Overcome the Fear of Wasps?

Now that you know the basics about the phobia of wasps (spheksophobia), let us look at a few proven ways to overcome this fear.

  • Hypnosis works in most cases of phobia. It can help to re-evaluate the stress stemming from the fear. It is useful to help you enter a state of relaxation to tackle the fight and flight response.
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a type of behavioral therapy that also tackles the initial flight and fight response of the brain by detecting its faulty pattern-matching capacity. Doing so can help reduce the chances of high pressure, sudden adrenaline rush, vomiting, and other common symptoms.
  • To get rid of the crippling anxiety experienced through Spheksophobia, you can meditate and take deep breaths. This will help visualize a positive and friendly environment to trim some portions of the fear.

How to Get Rid of Wasps

If none of the above methods are working, here are a few ways to permanently remove these insects from your home:

Use wasp traps

These traps have a liquid that attracts the insect to fly toward them. When the insect falls into the liquid, it gets stuck and slowly drowns.

These traps are highly effective. However, with time, the traps will get full of dead wasps, which can be a scary sight, especially for a person with a phobia.

Use wasp spray

Having a wasp nearby is the worst thing if you have a phobia of wasps. Purchase a wasp spray and put it directly on the nest.

You must wear all the necessary safety gear to avoid injuries and stings. To stay away from the range of attack, purchase a spray with a nozzle.

This will allow using the chemical from a safe distance.

Executioner Wasp Vs Tarantula Hawk

Call professionals

Sometimes it can be impossible to eliminate nearby wasps if you have Spheksophobia.

In such cases, it is wise to call experts to help you get rid of them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you deal with a phobia of wasps?

There are several ways to overcome the fear of wasps (spheksophobia), 
Hypnosis can help re-evaluate the stress stemming from the fear and induce relaxation to tackle the fight or flight response.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming can reduce symptoms by detecting faulty pattern-matching capacity.
Meditation and deep breathing can also help visualize a positive and friendly environment to reduce anxiety.

Why am I so paranoid of wasps?

The fear of wasps is often caused by the fact that they have deadly stings and can sting a person multiple times.
If someone has experienced a wasp sting before, it is normal to have this fear due to the burning sensation and pain that can last for almost a week.
Children can also develop a fear of wasps if they are repeatedly told how dangerous and painful their stings can be.
Media and television can also influence people to fear wasps more, particularly if they watch videos of wasp attacks or incidents where people get stung.

Is it normal to be terrified of wasps?

It is normal to have a limited fear of wasps because they can cause stings and hence leave behind a lot of pain. But what you must watch out for are severe symptoms of wasp phobia.
Wasp phobia can cause panic attacks triggered by the mere sight or thought of a wasp.
The adrenaline rush can cause shaking, sweating, and the feeling of wanting to run away. Heart rate and breathing can increase, leading to high blood pressure.
In extreme cases, detachment from reality and fainting can occur. Nausea and vomiting are also common symptoms.
Those with Spheksophobia tend to avoid sunny days and places where wasps are present, such as gardens and jungles.

Why do wasps fly so close to you?

Wasps are aggressive because they feel threatened by humans or other predators. They are highly territorial and will go into defense mode if their nest or queen is in danger.
When you see a wasp, do not appear as a threat to them. So, don’t make sudden movements or flails that can provoke them.
If you have to move, do so slowly and in a straight line. Do not try to kill a wasp, as it can alert the rest of the family to send out a rescue mission.
Learning a breathing sequence, such as the 4-7-8 technique, can help calm anxiety in these situations.

Wrap Up

Spheksophobia is a serious problem that causes issues like high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, and more.

Since wasps can deliver painful stings, it is okay to be terrified of these insects.

However, if you use the proven techniques mentioned in the article, you can overcome this phobia of wasps.

Remember to be patient. It can take time to see the results.

Thank you for reading the article.

Reader Emails

Fear of wasps is quite common, and a lot of our readers have expressed their fear to us in their letters and through other means.

We have always tried to explain that wasps are not harmful unless provoked, but sometimes irrational fears can lead to irrational responses.

Please go through some of these conversations, and hopefully you too will be able to understand that there is no need to be afraid of these creatures.

Letter 1 – Reader Claims Decoy Wasp Nest deters Wasps


August 27, 2011 Hi Daniel. I am not normally a random bug killer but the aggressive behavior in this particular instance brought it out in me. Just for your information, while up visiting in Canada last summer I ran across phoney wasp nests that claimed to stop other wasps from building nests nearby (within 200feet). I took a chance and bought a paper version and a cloth version. They work. I haven’t had a single issue with nest building wasps since I placed them. Just the occasional solitary variety like the mud-dobber (?). I brought back some for my neighbor this year and she has hung them up now. So we can see if they work or if I just had really good luck. Normally we have several varieties of nests to contend with. I will let you know in the future how they back up their claim. Now if I could find a harmless way to rid our house of mosquitos and flies… That would be a trick Regards, James James Rankine Thanks for the tip on Wasp’s Nests James.  We will notify our readers of your success with the product.  We found a link to a company called Canadian Tire that sells the decoy nests. Daniel. You are quite welcome. Growing up in Canada, I am very familiar with Canadian Tire. A very large reputable chain of stores. Regards, James Rankine


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

    View all posts
Tags: Wasps

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed