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Eek! Why Are We So Afraid of Mice that Squeak?

While plenty of household pests are more dangerous that mice, homeowners are particularly terrified when they spot a mouse in their home. In fact, the fear of mice and rats is one of the most common phobias in the United States. Where did the fear of mice many people experience come from and are mice really something you should be afraid of?

Musophobia 101

The fear of mice is known as musophobia, which comes from Latin. Just like some other phobias, musophobia can be a socially-induced conditioned response and a startle response. Conditioned responses are things we learn by observing the behavior of others. If your parents and the people you surround yourself with are afraid of mice, you are much more likely to have the same reaction. A startle response is a defensive response stemming from the unconscious that occurs whenever your body faces threatening or sudden stimuli. Something falling in the shower at your house? The brief panic or increase in your heart rate you feel is a startle response.

But Where Did We Learn to Fear Mice?

We’ve established that musophobia can be socially conditioned, but where does the conditioning originate? Mice are pests that can carry disease, destroy household food supplies and rapidly infest homes. The fear of mice contaminating food supplies and infecting the household with dangerous diseases was once much more practical. Thanks to today’s pest control techniques and sanitation, mice are less of a problem, and they can be taken care of professionally.

How Can You Conquer Your Musophobia?

If you’re dealing with symptoms of musophobia including anxiety, hysteria, trembling, increased heart rate, hot or cold flashes, chest pains, nausea or a feeling of choking, you can seek treatment. Habituation is an effective way to treat your fear of mice, and it requires frequency, intensity, and exposure to mice. Looking at pictures of mice on a regular basis is a good starting place. Next, you could visit a pet store and stand next to the mice. Eventually, you should reach a place where you can hold a mouse and endure exposure without feelings of panic and discomfort.

Got Mice? We Can Help

Brody Brothers Pest Control works with hundreds of property owners every year to keep properties safe and free from harmful insects, animals, and pests. Brody Brothers Quality Pest Control can treat any problems and maintain your property to minimize risks. Schedule a property inspection with Brody Brothers Quality Pest Control. Give us a call (410) 653-2121 (Baltimore region) or (301) 637-0178 (Montgomery County).