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Woman Thanks The Moth That Got Her To 1 Million Followers On TikTok & Over Her Fear Of Bugs

Photo: @talalovesyouart / TikTok
Tala talks about the moth that gave her a million followers on TikTok

In a lesson about appreciating life and the power of exposure therapy, a woman named Tala on TikTok recently uploaded a video in which she talked about the journey she took to become a “grandMOTHer,” thanking all of her fans — and the moth that started it all.

Although the content on all of her social media channels used to consist of artwork and cosplaying, she quickly made the jump into creating video journals of the insects she was taking care of despite having an intense fear of bugs before it all began.

It all started when Tala found a giant moth in her driveway two years ago.

“Two years ago, I found this giant moth sitting on my driveway,” she explained, showing the giant moth resting on the tire of a car. “I had a huge fear of bugs back then, so seeing this giant tarantula with wings scared the [expletive] out of me.”



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According to the Cleveland Clinic, phobias like entomophobia (the fear of insects) are actually quite common. “We do know that about 1 in 10 American adults and 1 in 5 teenagers will deal with a specific phobia disorder at some point in their lives,” they report. A book published by the Oxford University Press, titled "The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe, and Love Insects," claims that 6% of all U.S. inhabitants have this phobia.

Either way, it’s not uncommon to see or hear about people who shudder at the thought of bugs or insects and will often scream or shy away from them in real life; however, Tala seemed to have a different plan for this moth that day.

“I don’t know what got into me that day, but when she started crawling toward me, I just decided to let my hand out and let her do her thing,” she explained, showing the fluffy moth crawl around in her hands. “But I had no idea what I was about to get myself into.”

Tala raised the moth mom’s babies — a bunch of baby caterpillars that she ended up taking care of inside of containers that she would clean and consistently replace the old leaves in order for them to feed. “This was the closest I could get to being a mother,” she claimed. “I can’t tell you the things I was feeling when they started building their cocoons.”

Once they hatched and grew to the point where they could take care of themselves, she let them go — and she loved it so much that she decided to keep raising more.

Two years later, she continues to post videos about the moths and butterflies that she raises, and they’ve made her somewhat famous online with over a million followers on the video-sharing site.

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Tala’s story shows the power of exposure therapy and tells a beautiful story about misunderstood creatures.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, exposure therapy is actually one of the main treatments for entomophobia. Although exposure therapy is typically accompanied and supervised by a mental health professional in order to help manage your responses, Tala was able to do this on her own.

Getting over her own fear of bugs allowed her to set her sights on a goal that she would hopefully accomplish with the help of her social media following and (pardon the pun) exposure. 



“I made it my goal to shed a light on these beautiful yet misunderstood creatures,” she explained. “There are no words to describe how extremely grateful I am to everyone and everything that brought me here. And to think that all of this started because of a moth.”

It’s difficult to get an accurate number of how successful exposure therapy is considering there are many different types and it’s a treatment for a wide variety of fears, but the American Psychological Association reports that it has “scientifically demonstrated to be a helpful treatment.”

When it comes to anxiety, HealthLine reports that, according to EBBP.org, “about 60 to 90% of people have either no symptoms or mild symptoms of their original disorder after completing their exposure therapy.”

Part of exposure therapy is seeing pictures and videos of the creatures, so Tala’s mission is one that could prove successful as someone encounters the way she cares for and treats the creatures that so many people fear.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.