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3 Facts About Bed Bugs That Will Make You Even More Paranoid
Contributor
Written by
Mika Berghein
July 2015
Contributor
Written by
Mika Berghein
July 2015

By now, surely we all know who the worst home intruder of the industrialized world is - bed bugs. Walking around New York (or other metropolitan cities with a really wealthy upper middle class) you can often spot various pieces of furniture left on the street with signs left or sprayed right on them, warning of bed bugs. And we've probably all seen the latest episodes of "Orange is The New Black" where they burned all of the prison's mattresses upon finding signs of a bedbug infestation. More hated even than the appalling cockroaches, because well, at least roaches don't suck your blood or cause asthma.* Which is why you should seriously consider hiring a professional bedbug control service or empower yourself by trying out some world-old methods, because nothing is more important than health. And if all of this doesn't sound like a good enough reason to get paranoid right now these additional three facts about bedbugs and humans won't make it better either:

1. Psychiatric consequences

Bed bugs infestations are already linked to a variety of pathological and physical reactions, such as allergies and asthma. But one type of reactions which are usually overlooked - not due to bites but psychological trauma which also may be considered as PTSD syndrome. Although the subject needs a lot more research and thought than it's been given so far, there are clear signs that bed bugs are a severe stressor which can result in serious psychological consequence for those who are vulnerable and more susceptible (such as mentally unstable people, people suffering from mental diseases etc). What can decrease the levels of anxiety due to pest infestation is having available and accurate public health information about these pests, their biology and health effects. When it comes to bed bugs immediate action should be taken, not only to eradicate them but to adequately care for the people affected.

2. Suicide due to bed bugs

There have been at least two suicides now that have been linked to bed bug infestation. One story is about Ms. A, a 62 year old woman, diagnosed with bipolar disorder (which was treated with mood stabilizer), borderline personality, alcoholism and a gambling addiction, which reappeared after long periods of abstinence. She had thoughts of suicide since the age of 25 and had already attempted to end her life three times in the past. Ms. A was living in a social housing complex when she discovered bed bugs in her apartment. An exterminator was called but the bugs reoccurred four weeks later. Ms. A requested help to be relocated due to her developed phobia of bed bugs, but her request wasn't met. She then started losing substantial amount of money for alcohol and gambling. On the day of her death, Ms. A awoke at 3am to find a drop of blood on her dressing gown. Convinced the bed bugs had returned for her, she wrote a suicide note along with an email to a friend, which stated "I am panicking now because I just saw a drop of blood on my dressing gown sleeve and I am sure that vampires are back and I cannot stand to live in fear of me being eaten alive… I cannot stand it and I chose to take my life... At the time of writing, I have swallowed a bottle of wine and two hundred pills and I feel nothing, I feel completely empty, it is unbearable…". Upon the arrival of the police, Ms. A was found on her balcony on the 17th floor ready to jump. Attempts to discourage her from jumping were unsuccessful and she died instantly due multiple injuries to the brain, thorax and pelvis as a result of the fall.

In addition, a poster on the Bed Bug Registry wrote on February 2009, about a building (again social housing) which has bed bugs on every floor and units get sprayed weekly for bed bugs. The poster also claimed to have inside information by staff that there had been three suicides in the building the past year, because of bedbug infestation.

3. This Section of the BedBugger Forum

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