What is musophobia? If the thought, sight or sound of a rat makes you fearful, then it is more than likely that you suffer from musophobia. Many people may not have heard of musophobia, but it affects some people, especially those with previous traumatic encounters with rodents. In this blog, we cover what the phobia entails as well as some of the signs of musophobia. 

What Is Musophobia?

Surveys show that women are 33 percent more afraid of rats and mice than men (only six percent). This means that musophobia, or the fear of rats, is a relatively common type of phobia. The name derives from muso (mice) and phobia (an aversion to or the extreme or irrational fear of something). Musophobia is a condition that affects many globally.

Those who suffer from this type of phobia may have experienced a traumatic encounter involving rats or mice. The trauma results in dread, fear and heightened anxiety when presented with the thought, sight, smell or sound of a rat.

Signs of Musophobia

After answering the question: what is musophobia, it’s essential to understand the associated signs of the phobia. Identifying the signs below will help you determine whether you’re suffering from the phobia or not. The degree of severity will vary from one person to another.

Check for the following signs:

  • A feeling of being overwhelmed when seeing a rat or simply an image of one.
  • Experiencing stress when thinking about rats.
  • Feelings of extreme anxiety when near mice or rats, even if they are caged as pets. 
  • Avoiding places known to have rats – including pet stores.
  • Experiencing panic attacks when seeing a rat in real life or even in videos.
  • Increased heart rate, sweating, hysteria and dizziness when seeing rodents.
  • Some people may experience fainting when they see mice.

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is likely that you suffer from musophobia The good news is that there are steps to help lessen the phobia. The first step, of course, is understanding its causes.

The Known Causes Of Musophobia

Rats and mice can be intimidating to those who suffer from musophobia, as they can easily cause messes if they enter homes or buildings. For many, it’s natural to have an aversion to rats if they’ve been scratched or bitten by one, further intensifying the fear. Sometimes the instinctive fear of these rodents is underpinned by how they’re portrayed in television and film. 

Videos often associate wet, dark and dirty environments with rats, which further fuels a negative perception of them. Apart from this, people have learned from history that rats can carry pathogens affecting humans. Think along the lines of the Bubonic Plague in the 1340s, which killed around 25 million people in Europe.

Sometimes people develop this fear through learned behavior. As children, when friends or family members demonstrate a fear for rats or mice, we become conditioned to do the same. 

Overcoming Musophobia

Many people with musophobia either opt to work through their phobia on their own or seek professional help in more severe cases. Here are some tips and suggestions that might help you cope with this fear:

  • Learn more about mice and rats. For instance, rats and mice tend to leave traces of their presence – they leave droppings behind and often rummage through garbage or food cupboards. If you don’t see any rat droppings, or messes left behind, then it is likely that there are no rats present in your home environment.
  • Seek professional help through therapy and counseling. Some people may suffer from extreme musophobia that can affect their quality of life. As a result, they can’t function well at work and in the home. Cognitive behavior therapy, hypnotherapy and other forms of psychotherapy are helpful in these cases.
  • Taking proactive steps to create a hygienic living environment will help to minimize possible encounters with rats. Simple things like making sure to take out the garbage every day, eliminating moisture sites in your house and repairing damaged screens can be a big help to prevent rodents from making surprise appearances.
  • It will also be a great idea to have pest control services inspect your home. Sometimes, rodents and other pests may already be present, and you may not be aware. 

What To Do In The Case Of An Infestation?

Sometimes the musophobia is triggered by the actual presence of mice in the house. If this is the case, then consider hiring pest control services right away. You will also need to do some preparations before the exterminators arrive.

It is a good idea to clean the house first and do some vacuuming to get rid of food crumbs. You should also store all your food items in a different location. You might also want to relocate your pets and move your furniture. If you have indoor plants, you may have to move them out for the time being.

Experts in pest control can give you professional advice about preparations that you can make before they begin the extermination process. In more severe cases, they may even ask you to vacate the premises.

After the extermination, you will have to ensure everything is clean. This includes keeping the house well ventilated. In addition, all entryways where rats can potentially enter the house will be sealed. If you find any dead rats in the following days, make sure to get rid of them immediately.

Final Thoughts

Having rodents in the house is an unpleasant experience. We don’t recommend dealing with a rodent infestation the DIY way. Always call expert pest control services. At Pest Control Unlimited, we use advanced elimination and extermination techniques. We understand that each situation is different, so we use custom solutions for every home. 

Trust the experts and call today or fill out this form.