What Is Zemmiphobia?

  • Olga GabrielMaster's degree, Forensic Science, Uppsala University, Sweden


Zemmiphobia is a term that is used to describe the fear or hatred of moles. It is derived from the Greek word “zemi” which means mole and “phobia” which means fear. While this may seem like an uncommon fear, it is a very real phobia that affects a significant number of people worldwide. Those who suffer from zemmiphobia fear moles to such an extent that it can interfere with their daily lives and activities.


There are several potential causes of zemmiphobia, but the exact cause is not always clear. Some of the most common causes of the fear of moles include:

Traumatic experiences 

Often, a traumatic or negative experience involving moles, such as being startled by one or bitten by one, can lead to a phobia of them.


There may be a genetic predisposition to developing phobias, including zemmiphobia. If a family member has a fear of moles or another phobia, an individual may be more likely to develop the same phobia.

Cultural factors

In certain cultures, moles are associated with bad luck or even evil spirits. This association can lead to a fear of moles in some individuals.

Anxiety disorders

Zemmiphobia can be a symptom of an underlying anxiety disorder, such as generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder.

Overactive imagination

Some people may develop a fear of moles due to an overactive imagination. They may imagine worst-case scenarios involving moles, leading to anxiety and fear.

It is essential to identify the underlying cause of zemmiphobia to develop an effective treatment plan. If you are experiencing symptoms of zemmiphobia or another phobia, it is essential to seek the help of a qualified mental health professional. They can help you manage your anxiety and overcome your fear of moles.


People with zemmiphobia may experience a range of symptoms, including panic attacks, sweating, heart palpitations, shaking, and avoidance behavior. They may also find it challenging to even look at pictures or illustrations of moles. The fear of moles may stem from early childhood experiences, including trauma or negative associations with moles or other rodents.1


The fear of moles can be irrational and can often lead sufferers to avoid certain activities or places where moles are likely to be found. For example, they may avoid going outdoors or walking in gardens and parks where moles are commonly found. This fear can be very debilitating and can interfere with everyday life.

Diagnosing zemmiphobia typically involves speaking with a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. During an assessment, the mental health professional will typically ask a range of questions to determine the severity of the phobia and its impact on the individual's daily life.

The mental health professional will also look for specific criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to diagnose zemmiphobia formally. According to the DSM-5, criteria for specific phobia disorder include:

  • Marked and persistent fear or anxiety about a situation or object (in this case, moles)
  • Exposure to moles almost always provokes an immediate and intense fear response
  • The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the situation or object and the sociocultural context
  • The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is persistent, typically lasting for six months or more
  • The fear or avoidance of moles causes significant distress or impairment in the individual's daily life

Once diagnosed with zemmiphobia, treatment options can be discussed with the individual, including exposure therapy and/or medication. It's essential to remember that zemmiphobia is a treatable condition, and seeking help from a mental health professional can lead to managing the phobia and improving an individual's quality of life.


Zemmiphobia can be treated and managed through a range of methods, including behavioral therapy, medication, or a combination of both. 

Behavioral therapy involves gradually exposing the person to the object of their fear in a controlled, safe environment. The aim is to help them learn to manage their anxiety and fear in the presence of moles.

Medication can also be an effective treatment for zemmiphobia. Anti-anxiety medication or beta-blockers can help reduce the physical symptoms associated with phobias and help the individual feel more in control when faced with the object of their fear.

Overcoming a fear of moles can be challenging, but it is worth seeking help to improve the quality of life for those suffering from this phobia. With the right treatment and support, individuals with zemmiphobia can learn to manage their fear and live a more fulfilling life free from the debilitating effects of their phobia.


Zemmiphobia is an uncommon, but real phobia that can significantly impact an individual's life. With the right treatment and support, zemmiphobia can be managed effectively, enabling individuals to overcome their fear of moles and enjoy a more normal life. Sufferers of zemmiphobia should seek help from a qualified professional who can provide them with the necessary treatment and support to overcome their fear.2


  1. What is zemmiphobia? (An overview)| optimistminds [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2023 Sep 26]. Available from: https://optimistminds.com/zemmiphobia/
  2. Zemmiphobia(Fear of the great mole rat) [Internet]. Psych Times. [cited 2023 Sep 26]. Available from: https://psychtimes.com/zemmiphobia-fear-of-the-great-mole-rat/
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Fatima Zehra

M. Phil in Pharmacy, Hamdard University, Pakistan

Fatima is a Pharmacist and Freelance Medical Writer with working experience in Pharmaceutical,
Hospital and Community Sector. She is passionate to educate people about health care. She has a
great interest to communicate complex scientific information to general audience using her
experience and writing skill.

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