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Bed bug infestations may affect your mental health.

We may consider bed bugs as a tiny issue - you got bitten, your skin starts to itch, you put some cream and it will heal. Who would have imagined the long-term disturbance associated with bed bugs could lead to PTSD or even suicide?


(Bed Bugs: Clinical Relevance and Control Options - Scientific Figure on ResearchGate.)


Bed bugs are a pest, they have a worldwide distribution and We have already known beg bugs may cause bites and itchy maculopapular wheal, urticarial reactions, and anaphylaxis (Delaunay et al., 2010). A recent article by Jerome Goddard, Extension Professor of Biochemistry at Mississippi State University. Bed bugs may not only bring physical discomfort and illness to humans but also affected mental health, in serious cases, bed bug infestations may cause PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), actions of intense and repeated cleanings of homes or offices, and even suicidal thoughts or attempts.



Bed bug infestations have a direct impact on sleep quality. Sleep disturbance shows a strong connection to anxiety and depression (Susser et al., 2012). Susser also suggested an appropriate control of bed bugs is required. Another study conducted in Hong Kong shows that bed bug bites also have negative impact on victim's work and social relationships. Immediate public interventions such as extermination programs and public education in Hong Kong were recommended (Fung et al., 2021).


The EPA (the United States Environmental Protection Agency) had provided some tips on how to prevent bed bug infestation in your home, below are a few points selected to share in this post:

Tips:

  • Use a protective cover for mattresses

  • Reduce clutter in your home to reduce hiding places for bed bugs

  • Vacuum frequently

  • Continue to inspect for bed bugs

Don't!

  • Rubbing alcohol, it will cause fire easily

  • Sticky traps, this is not effective for catching bed bugs

Treatments:

  • Heat treatment: clothes dryer on high heat

  • Steam cleaners: 54.5 °C / 130 °F steam temperature

  • Hire a pest management professional

The treatment for bed bugs is complex and it can take weeks or months. It is not a pest that can be completely treated with a single pest control service and require to evaluate and follow-ups after treatments. If you had been suffering from bed bugs, please contact us for a bed bug removal plan.


Reference:

Delaunay, P., Blanc, V., Del Giudice, P., Levy-Bencheton, A., Chosidow, O., Marty, P., & Brouqui, P. (2010). Bedbugs and Infectious Diseases. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 52(2), 200-210. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciq102


Fung, E., Chiu, S., Lam, H., Chung, R., Wong, S., & Chan, S. et al. (2021). The Impact of Bedbug (Cimex spp.) Bites on Self-Rated Health and Average Hours of Sleep per Day: A Cross-Sectional Study among Hong Kong Bedbug Victims. Insects, 12(11), 1027. doi: 10.3390/insects12111027


Goddard, J. (2022). Bed bugs' biggest impact may be on mental health after an infestation of these bloodsucking parasites. Retrieved 19 October 2022, from https://theconversation.com/bed-bugs-biggest-impact-may-be-on-mental-health-after-an-infestation-of-these-bloodsucking-parasites-179430


Susser, S., Perron, S., Fournier, M., Jacques, L., Denis, G., Tessier, F., & Roberge, P. (2012). Mental health effects from urban bed bug infestation (Cimex lectulariusL.): a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open, 2(5), e000838. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-000838

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