I’ve talked about my crippling fear of crickets here on the blog before. It had gotten to the point where I would despise summertime and look forward to winter just to be able to breathe easy and not constantly fear coming upon a cricket.
You guys made me feel a lot better when I wrote that post by sharing your own irrational fears in the comments. Isn’t it crazy how our minds can take over all logical thought?
I’m completely aware of the fact that crickets are harmless and couldn’t hurt me if they wanted to. I’m aware that my fear is unwarranted.
Here’s an excerpt from my previous post so you can understand the gravity of this sitch:
I’m irrationally terrified of crickets.
It’s pretty bad. I’ve actually considered seeing a therapist. When I see a cricket, I totally lose my mind. And it’s embarrassing, cause I’m a country girl. Spiders and rodents and snakes don’t bother me AT ALL. I’m pretty chill in general. But something about crickets makes my blood run cold.
I googled it, and it’s a legit phobia. Orthopterophobia to be exact. Does this make me feel like my fear is validated? NO.
And I know that this fear is completely foolish and inconsequential. I mean, it’s not like they can hurt me. And, after all, I’m about 100,000 times larger than they are.
But I just can’t help it. It’s a serious problem.
It’s gotten worse over the years, and it’s starting to interfere with my ability/desire to go out to the garage to work on furniture. I try to get as much done as possible during the day while the girls are napping. Because for some reason, they’re more numerous in the evenings.
Something about how shiny and black and crunchy they are, and the fact that they are so unpredictable. They can (and will) jump in any direction without warning. This makes me terrified to even try to quickly step on them. Chances are, I’ll miss, and the little critter could go anywhere… including ON ME.
So now that we have a little background info… let’s talk about how a parent’s fears can (and WILL) rub off on the children
These girls are country through and through. Sure, they love to dress up and have tea parties… but they are rough and tumble tomboys that aren’t afraid of getting dirty either. And they loooooove animals.
Because I’m VERY AWARE of how a fear can affect you, I’ve made a special point to be super careful how I react when there are any type of bugs around. Starting from the time they were very little, I would act excited when I saw an ant or a spider …or any other insect… and say ‘LOOK GIRLS! What a cute bug!’
Because I KNOW they take their cues from us.
And because of this, they get excited EVERY TIME THEY SEE A BUG.
My ploy was more than successful. They LOVE bugs. ‘Mommy look at this giant spider! Heyyyyy little buddy! Awwwww, I’m going to name you ****.
There have even been times where they fight over bugs.
I SAW HIM FIRST!
But I’m incapable of forcing myself to react ‘warmly’ when I see a cricket. My blood runs cold, and it’s all I can do not to lose my ever-loving mind.
Even with me making ‘all this progress’ with my fear, the girls have been picking up on it. And I would say it turned into a legit phobia comparable to mine. We’re talking SHEER TERROR when they see a cricket.
And they wake up multiple times at night because they’re dreaming there are crickets in their bed. (admittedly a terrifying dream) …What have I done to my children?!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent, it’s that I can do ANYTHING if it’s for my kids.
And I set out to stay calm when crickets are present.
It didn’t happen overnight, but over the course of a month or two, I was able to literally have NO outward reaction to seeing a cricket. I could keep my composure and just ‘take care of it’.
This was HUGE for me.
When the girls would see a cricket and freak out, I would stay calm and say ‘ehhhh he doesn’t look that scary, does he? He’s kinda cute (***NOTTT***)
This wasn’t really working because I had already instilled a blood-curdling fear of crickets in them.
So we started a game.
‘Girls! Let’s count how many crickets we see today! Do you think we can get to 5? ***shudder***
And would you believe? IT TURNS OUT 4-YEAR-OLDS LOVE TO COUNT THINGS.
They went from being stricken with terror at the sight of a cricket to being kind of excited to add another checkmark to their imaginary checklist of crickets.
The craziest thing about all of this is that it’s helped me conquer MY OWN fear of crickets.
Don’t get me wrong, my heart still skips a beat every time I see one… but the fear factor has been reduced. A lot. Forcing myself to react positively to a negative situation changes my whole outlook.
And do you see the parallels of how this works in everyday life? Choose your words and actions wisely, because they will determine your attitude toward it. Speak positive things into your life, as well as those around you!
This has been a huuuuuge breakthrough for me… and is my motivational message for this week. Happy Friday! 😉
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I know that you wrote this like 7 years ago but it’s helping me in 2023. I just bought a home with a basement. I’m a drummer and am so excited to be able to bring my drum set here (used to play in moms garage,) and currently terrified to carry it to my basement. They’re are not even that many but they’re….there, ya know the camel ones? 🙁 well your story helped me a lot! I have a 2 and 4 year old. I could’ve written this, however, I have already been able to kinda hold back with my reaction however when I’m alone I’m still terrified! So I got it. Just gotta pretend my kids are always with me LOL
Laura Hale says
I have this fear, only of the cave crickets or spider crickets, not sure what they are really called. There is one in my bathroom right now and I don’t even want to get up to go pee! There are apparently alot of them in my crawlspace and are comon in my neighborhood. Had some luck with an exterminator once but they always come back, My kids are my heroes and think I’m ridiculous, they either kill them or or remove them for me! I thought I was crazy til I started thinking maybe I have a legit phobia, I don’t mind most other bugs I even love cicadas ,and I once had a bad experience with those as a kid! It has gotten so bad for me that certain housework doesn’t get done because I know they are hiding under things and if one jumps out me I will lose it! I’m glad to know I’m not alone tho and will definitely try retraining my brain by reacting differently…I’m gonna go use that bathroom now
I just signed a lease for a basement apartment, paid 1st month, security and a broker fee. Went to the apartment on Dec 1 and saw a cricket and landlord saw one too. I went back next night and ran around killing a few of them. I freaked out so much that I backed out of the lease. I lost $2600 (1st month rent and broker fee). I do not want to live with these things and deal with it on any level. I couldn’t stand being in the apartment after that. i felt like they were crawling on me even when I wasn’t there. I don’t want to live with traps and having to spray or whatever it takes and don’t want to deal with them coming back in the spring which they probably will. You are not alone. Friends who don’t deal with this and don’t know what it’s like have mocked me.
I’m so glad I’m not alone in this. I’m 36 years old male, but I have same phobia. I don’t think our age matters, it’s just a phobia and some people have it, even if it’s irrational, period. Cockroaches and grasshoppers terrify me. Imagine them crawling on my skin already gives me goosebumps and very bad feeling. Grasshoppers are unpredictable and they can jump on a long distance wherever they want. Where I live, we have some big grasshoppers. I live on 5th floor apartment, but they even reach there. Yesterday my wife noticed one of them on the wall. It was huge, dark brown or black grasshopper. It more looked like an alien from the movie “Alien”, slowly moving to the ceiling. God, it was so huge and terrifying… I tried to lift my cat, so he could notice it and start hunting on it, but as soon as I lifted him, sadly my silly cat didn’t notice it, but that thing noticed us and he jumped somewhere. I got so scared, ran and locked myself in another room. My wife told me that thing was sitting above my door wall. She hit it with the broom, but grasshopper jumped someplace else and she couldn’t see it anymore. She assured me that most likely it jumped on the balcony and it was gone, because she searched whole room and couldn’t find it anymore and finally I went back to the room. She laughed at me and told me that they don’t bite. I tried to explain her what is phobia and we know well that they don’t bite, but it’s a fear. I’m really glad, I’m not alone in this and found this website where I can find people with the same phobia.
It was something like this: https://pixnio.com/free-images/fauna-animals/insects-and-bugs/grasshopper-pictures/big-brown-grasshopper-insect-426×544.jpg
well, im 14 and i just searched in the middle of my highschool science class, “are crickets evil” and this popped up. i agree with you, they jump at random times, like what if it jumps on me! one showed up in my class, and i moved seats, jumping over tables and everything. just to avoid this tiny cricket.
Bethany Sy says
Haha! I’m glad I’m not alone! Crickets are the devil.
I am terrified of crickets only because they look like spiders that can jump right at my face. I am a 29 year old guy and I am a huge arachnophobe. Crickets aren’t as bad to me as spiders but they still instill that same primal flight reflex. Spiders are so bad for me that I seriously need to get my girlfriend to kill them for me when I see them in the house. It’s humiliating.
God, I’m so glad I’m not the only one. I know it’s completely irrational and they can’t hurt me. I’ve been visiting my sister and her husband during this lockdown period. Every night there’s a cricket or two in my bedroom. For the first month or so, my sister and her husband checked my room for me to take the crickets out. I can’t sleep knowing those things are near. I have an irrational fear of them hoping on me in my sleep and crawling in my ears. They don’t think it’s funny anymore, nor do they sympathise. I’m absolutely terrified to sleep every night. I hate it so much, it has ruined my entire stay.
Bethany Sy says
That’s terrifying. You are not alone. I would ABSOLUTELY NOT be able to sleep under those circumstances.
Sarah Florence says
My fear is not just crickets, but also grasshoppers, cicadas, and anything else from that family of bugs. Just like you, I can handle almost any bug except for those! I have gotten to the point that I don’t scream or run anymore (yes it was that bad at one point), but I still can’t stand the thought of seeing one. I am told crickets are good luck if you find them in your house and that you shouldn’t kill them, but I don’t care. I would rather live with the bad luck than the cricket! Thank you for helping me to see that I am not the only one!
Oh my God I am so terrified of crickets…… And moths and, well, just most bugs in general. Especially ones that jump. My family and friends always laugh at me and tell me to calm down because these bugs cannot hurt you. Uh, gee, ya think? I already know this! It doesn’t matter if they can’t hurt me, I’m still afraid! Like, I scream so loud and duck and dodge and i just flip out if I see one. Sometimes I just freeze with crippling fear. It’s really bad. It’s really embarrassing. And while people are over there laughing, I’m over here shi**ng my pants! It’s not funny!
Kathleen Lee says
I’m the same and so is my bff…it’s not funny in the least . My friends and family actually get annoyed with me.
Erin, I’m in the same situation. My family and friends laughed at me. I tried to explain them it’s not funny, but I’m not sure if they get it. Wish those people were more understanding.
Oh god, I’m so glad I’m not the only one. I just searched for phobia of grasshoppers and crickets and stumbled upon this.. today I saw a grasshopper randomly standing on my desk and i screamed so loud i think the whole neighbourhood heard it… i’m a 21 year old woman. i ran and crawled into my 12 year old sister’s bed sweating and shaking and woke her up so she can go and take care of it for me. that’s SO patethic, but i just can’t control myself around these things. and my mom is not helping at all, she finds the whole thing funny and says things like “hey, how long do you think he stayed hidden in some corner watching you?”. I dont find it funny AT ALL. im TERRIFIED. i live in a place that’s half city and half village, like… very non urban little neighbourhood so there’s not THAT MANY of them but still happens sometimes. 3 hours after the incident i’m still looking at the place where grasshopper was and washing it for 15th time and than washing my hands again… they are raw red at this point. i know it’s not normal at all but i have no idea what to do or where this fear comes from at all!
This is so weird. I have the exact same irrational fear. And for the same reasons. And I’m also a country girl who is totally cool with all other bugs… I can’t believe we have the exact same phobia in like the exact same way… Any ways.. I’m so glad I found this page.
Bethany Sy says
No way that’s so crazy! I feel strangely validated!
I dont feel so entirely foolish now, thanks. I am deathly afraid of crickets, i cant help but scream loudly when i see one. No problem with spiders or any others, just crickets. Which now is also rubbing off on my 10 yr. Old daughter. My son however thinks its hysterical and has even brought one in the house to tease me with(i literally started crying and begging him to take it away!). Wierd thing is i wasnt like this til bout 3years ago when our house seemed to be hit with a plague of them. There was so many every night, they seemed to congregate in our sun room by the hundreds!
Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos says
Ugh, I can relate so much Melissa! It’s horrible when it starts negatively affecting your life. I hope that you’re able to slowly learn to keep your fear hidden from your girls so they don’t have the same fears. And if you’re like me, this will start to make your fears less and less too! 😉
I loved reading this post as I am absolutely terrified of snakes. We have a fair amount in our yard (we back up to open space) and we get a lot of gardner snakes (I am not sure I spelled that right, but I am too scared to google it and possibly see a snake picture). Every morning, I look out the windows to our back yard to do a snake check. If I am able to spot one (I spot one about every three weeks on average), I send my husband out to catch it and relocate it to an open space a couple of miles from our house. It is awful because we have landscaped our yard beautifully and I cannot even allow myself to enjoy it during the summer months. I basically stick to our deck like it is a life raft.
Now that we have two little girls, I know that I need to get over this. Already I panic that they are going to have a play set and that they will likely find/see snakes. I tell people that I want to move just to get away from snakes, but I think that they are a fact of life in Colorado. I would love to just be able to enjoy a family walk or walk through my grass without panicking. Ugh. My blood pressure has risen just writing about snakes…
Gina Shillitani says
I am the same way about palmetto bugs/roaches. I literally gasp in fear if I see one, and if I can’t find it and kill it I’m hyper-vigilant for hours. There’s an actual phobia for this fear also but I’ve never tried counseling or anything for it. I’ve made someone pull over on the shoulder of a highway and hunt down a palmetto bug that I saw in the car before I would get back in. And of course, I live in Florida where there is an amazing variety of insects and reptiles… and a lot of palmetto bugs/roaches. There are even some that fly and they’ll fly right into your head… at night especially. I have seen a few crickets in the house and they look enough like roaches to cause me to kill them on sight. Ugh.
Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos says
Gah, this makes me feel so much more validated Gina! HAHA! We live a tough life, don’t we? 😉
Gina Shillitani says
Indeed 🙂 We have dogs, so we’re in and out all the time and they get in while the doors are open I think. And Florida is like the roach capital of the world… we get a lot of lizards hanging out though – they’re totally welcome to stay since they eat bugs… although I saw one eating a baby dragonfly once 🙁 One of the dogs tangled with a bufo toad last year, another Florida specialty – that was scary.
spiders all the way. Hate them. I can tolerate any other bugs even though I think they are ugly, just horrible. Snakes too. Spiders and snakes.
My own grown up and married daughters suffer from the same phobias.
Face it, they are disgusting.
My advice to all that cannot get over this fear of bugs, get a vacuum that has a bag to throw away. Just vacuum up the filthy vermin, and then go around your house.
Crickets, I can handle them okay, they do not seem as bad as spiders.
Roaches are also completely disgusting.
and ANTS in the house.
Motherhood makes you brave in so many ways
Jenna michelle Pink says
I used to be terrified of spiders. My mum is terrified of spiders and tried hard not to pass that phobia over too me but unfortunately failed. I used to become completely hysterical when I saw a spider.
Determined to not let that fear pass onto my kids I have really forced myself to face my fear. I can now even leave a medium sized spider in the corner of a room without removing it (unless its the bedroom) and I can leave even big spiders in aroom If I know it can go back outside and I shut the door on it (like in the bathroom). Ive come along way.
It sounds like you are on the right track 🙂
Bravo for becoming brave for the kids! One day they will say…”hey mom, remember when you were so scared of crickets”
Renee Freisinger says
I share your fear of things that move unpredictably but for me it is/was moths. Ugh. They are fuzzy little messengers from hell. They fly erratically and always seem to fly for your face. The other night my daughter posted this exchange to her FB page:
“My mother just knocked on my door to say “there’s a big hairy moth waiting for you to save it or else I’m going to end it’s miserable life and flush it down the toilet”. Love you Mum.”
She went into the bathroom and caught the moth in her hands *shudder* and carried it to the back door. As I opened the door for her she said “Ooo, he’s a lively one!”. *double shudder*
I am getting better but still, ICK!!
Ann Schaffer says
Great post, Beth!
great words of inspiration. I have noticed, with my little one, that she will pick up on little phrases that I say. At first it is sort of funny but I have realized that it can stick. I try hard to have good language and try not to teach her bad habits, its so hard, and obviously I am not perfect at it. This is a great reminder!
I just pray you don’t run into the spider (or cave) crickets. Nasty buggers!
I use to let crickets and grasshoppers walk all over my arms and hands. But I’d never ever touch a spider!!
There are some behavior modification techniques that might help.
An easy (sorta) one just takes 4 steps:
1) notice you are having an unwanted response.
Basically just catch yourself in the realization you are upset, and would rather not be. This sounds easier than it can be at times, because the flight/freeze/freakout response for a fear is pretty strong, so it can be hit and miss if you get to the next steps. Keep trying though, because just noticing you are reacting more strongly than you’d like to can help curb the response.
2) notice your physical position, such as posture and facial expression, and deliberately change them.
You might be curling up, hunched over, clenching your hands, and making a face. Change these. Relax, shake the tension out of your shoulders, and smile.
3) Tell yourself it’s ok to not like xyz, but you don’t want to freak out (or other wording) about it, so you are going to choose to let that feeling go.
Any self-talk along those lines works. It’s part distraction, and part (in conjunction with #2) change of your automatic response to the stimuli.
4) raise your chin up a little, smile again, and try to laugh a bit. Even just a chuckle or two will do.
Laughter is a big help. It alone can alter your mood, so if you do nothing else above, at least try to smile and laugh.
My go-to for something to laugh at is youtube. Any funny animal video works (baby goats, kittens, dogs playing with babies…). The comics in the news paper are good too.
This has helped with my own phobias.
Diane Kimball says
UGH! Everything was fine and dandy then……SPIDER!!!!!!!!!!! Get it off your child! OFF OFF OFF! Lol. I am an arachnophobic through and through. Lol. I guess I need to learn to curb all my fears with my own little one.
I was right there with ya!! LOL Forget about curbing the fear of spiders..teach them how to SQUISH them!! 😀
dana dashoop says
Love the jurassic park reference!!! Hilarious!!! I was awe/nodding all while reading till I see Pais with the spider ON her!! NO NO NO NO!! YUCK YUCK YUCK – freaked me out – but I remember when I was a kid & I would catch those black/yellow huge spiders & put them in butter dishes, poke holes in it & keep them UNDER my bed. now…. NO NO NO YUCK YUCK YUCK! 😉 It’s ok to have fears & I’ll be happy to step on/remove with a tissue, any bug when I come over 😉 I’ll try to hold back the squeals 😉
I caught those garden spiders in baby food jars!
I love this post. Some of our fears are irrational to others but they are VERY real to us. You are modeling such great behaviors for your little lovelies. I am in awe of how you have turned the real fear into more of a controlled appreciation or something. 🙂 Good for you. You rock. In many ways. Thanks for sharing.
Isn’t it a terrible year for crickets? I think if they walked around the perimeter of our house they could find way more than they could count. Our kittens think it’s nonstop fun though. Nasty to see them eat one…fortunately they usually do catch and release.