Bug Blog

Bed Bug Infestations Can Lead To Mental Illness

Nobody wants to catch a disease from a bug. What could be worse than having malaria, or lyme disease? Although, a bed bug infestation would be stressful, at least they do not spread disease. Although bed bugs are not disease vectors, bed bugs can, nevertheless, cause people to become emotionally scarred after living through an infestation. Termites are not disease vectors either, but having your house destroyed by these tiny critters can have a long lasting negative impact on your mental health. Everybody sympathizes with the person who lost their house to termites, but not much sympathy is reserved for those who have suffered through bed bug infestations. Some experts believe that living with a bed bug infestation can be stressful enough to cause long term mental illness.

According to a physician who works at Montreal Public Health, Stéphane Perron, bed bug infestations can cause people to develop mental health issues even if they have never experienced mental health issues in the past. A 2012 study compared the mental health of apartment tenants who had lived through bed bug infestations, with a group of tenants who had not. There were thirty nine participants in the bed bug group and fifty two participants who had never lived through a bed bug infestation. Using sleep quality indexes and anxiety scales the researchers learned that the group that had experience with bed bugs were more likely to suffer from poor sleep and more likely to show signs of anxiety and even depression. People who have been deemed mentally healthy their entire lives can still develop anxiety and depression in response to a bed bug infestation. This anxiety can be much worse for those who have experienced a bed bug infestation and are already afraid of bugs. Just one single spider can freak some people out, so imagine how those people would be affected by a house full of tiny arachnids that are constantly biting them. People who have experienced bed bug infestations have described coping with feelings of hopelessness, and anxiety over the possibility of bed bugs returning to their homes.

Do you think that a person can develop long lasting mental issues as a result of living through a bed bug infestation?

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