Musophobia: Fear of rats and mice

Musophobia Fear of rats and mice

The animal world has managed to acquire a certain prominence in the catalog of phobias due to its wide range of species, sizes and colors.



Although the disproportionate, irrational and uncontrollable fear of animals is known as zoophobia, this article is aimed at a fairly specific subtype: musophobia, the fear of mice and rats.

Being animals so frowned upon by society due to their ability to transmit diseases , it is not surprising to find a high incidence rate of this phobia.


It is quite common to see people who, with the simple fact of naming these rodents, are capable of developing anxiety, stress and panic.

Some experts have determined that the age of onset of this psychopathy is between 7 and 9 years.

In addition, they assure that it is much more common in women, reaching up to 90% within the incidence rate; when fear refers only to mice, it is called suriphobia.

The sociocultural variables that have tipped the balance in a detrimental way for mice and rats are undeniable.

Exaltation of factors such as its ability to contaminate food or spread disease have made this phobia much more common.

Scenarios such as television programs and movies have a great impact on people in relation to musophobia, since they generally pose these animals from a negative perspective.

In summary, the most important factor when identifying the causes of this psychopathy is the acquired behavior.

It can be said that this phobia passes from generation to generation , with people not being aware of the predisposition that revolves around the animal.


As is often the case in phobias, symptoms can vary depending on the intensity of the disorder .

Among the most common behavioral characteristics (in addition to the avoidance of the feared object ) can be contemplated disgust towards mice and rats, as well as rejection towards the sound they emit .

As for the physical reactions of musophobia, nervousness, acceleration of the heart and respiratory rate, tremors, excessive sweating, among others, stand out.

In the worst case, the affected individual can suffer panic attacks and fainting spells.

Some of the symptoms could also be dizziness, stomach pain and dry mouth.

From the cognitive level, the phobia of rats and mice is characterized by maximizing negative thoughts in anticipation of contact with these animals.

In the mind of a musophobic, any situation associated with these rodents is taken out of context, giving them a character of real danger.


Despite the fact that this phobia is very common, it is not always necessary to seek help .

The reality is that musophobia does not prevent the individual from functioning normally, so it can often be ignored.

In the case of a person who wishes to overcome their fear, the most recommended treatment is gradual exposure therapy .

Using a controlled environment as a point of trust for the affected person, the rat or mouse is introduced so that it can adapt and lose fear.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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