Fear of rats
Over two-thirds (65%) of people living in the UK have experienced spiders in their homes. British arachnophobia has grown so common that many now believe it’s part of everyday life, according to recent research conducted by UK pest control specialists Fantastic Services on the eve of Halloween.
The survey found that out of 2,000 respondents, 25% live with this fear every day.
And yet, it turns out that arachnophobia is only the third most popular pest-related phobia among UK residents. There is one pest-related phobia that is bigger than all of them – and it’s called Musophobia – the fear of rats and mice. Even though only a complete 18% (5% for rats and 13% for mice) have reported seeing these pests in their home, a whopping 48% of respondents said they would completely freak out if they see a rodent in their home. To be precise, 38% have their phobias triggered by rats, and only 10% find mice as intimidating as their bigger siblings.
Fear of snakes
The second prize for the most frightening pest for all Brits contest goes to snakes. The snake-related phobia is called Ophidiophobia, and a total of 32% of respondents claim they suffer from it. Surprisingly, the numbers are evenly distributed between male (31%) and female (34%) participants.
Some of the other most feared pests out there include cockroaches (19%), wasps (15%), biting insects (e.g. lice, midges, mosquitos) (10%), bed bugs (which also bite a lot) (9%) and fleas (7%).
When it comes to who will get rid of the pest at home, 61% of Brits say they would be comfortable getting rid of a pest in their home themselves with 31% of the population dealing with the pests humanely and 30% of people admitting they would kill themselves – with males being noticeably more likely than females to say they would kill the pest themselves (38% vs 22%).
A further 22% of people would put traps or poison down to deal with their pest problems, and another 21% would call a pest control company.
There are, however, 15% who would get their partner to deal with the situation instead of themselves, which falls to 4% in the case of males and increases to 25% among females.
For those with severe phobias, the most common answers were “I would call a pest control company” (21%), “I would get my partner to deal with it” (15%), “I would get someone else in my household to deal with it” (11%), “I would call a neighbour or friend” (8%), “I would try to get my pet to deal with it” (5%), “I would lock it in a room” (4%), “I would lock myself in a different room” (3%) and “I would stay somewhere else for the night” (2%).
Pest control specialist Kameliya Ilieva, says: “Pests are a reality of life. Unfortunately, your home can become a haven for spiders, rats, and mice almost before you’ve finished unpacking. In order to prevent this from happening, make sure to check whether your rental or new home is pest-free. As soon as you move in, get to work on organising preventive pest control measures. You can do that with foam insulating or other pest control products like traps, but it’s also a good idea to make sure all your skirting boards and loft spaces are sealed. Pests like to follow the path of least resistance, meaning they will try to find any holes or cracks they can squeeze through to gain access to your home.”
Fantastic Services offer a range of pest control services for domestic properties and businesses. Discover more at www.fantasticservices.com/pest-control/
Full survey results are available upon request.