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Bedbugs May Increase Risk Of Mental Health Problems
Any doctor seeing patients with bedbug infestation and pre-existing psychoses “should be on alert,” Rieder said. “These people can decompensate even if they’ve been medically stable for a significant period of time.”
Researchers said it’s unclear why a bedbug infestation threatens the mental health of some more than others, but they hope to research the topic further, as bedbugs are not going away.
“Most people are very upset when they call us,” said Steve Nelson, a co-owner of Chemtech Exterminating Corp. in New York City. “They are on the phone, crying. It’s very disconcerting — a nightmare for most people.”
Nelson said that he and other exterminators often act as stand-in psychologists, reassuring the customers that they will help them get through this mentally exhausting ordeal.
“People are … taking their home and turning it upsidedown,” said Nelson. “We feel bad, but we tell them we’re there to help and we reassure them that we will get rid of the problem.”
As for da Silva, he said he empathized and understood why bedbugs may wreak havoc on a person’s psyche.
“You’re living in a house where you’re not at peace,” said da Silva. “Then you barely sleep and you wake up and you’re tired. That could definitely have a huge impact on anxiety and depression.”
While da Silva didn’t need psychiatric help to manage his bedbug storm, the experience is not over for him.
Additional reporting by MedPage Today’s Kristina Fiore
How To Tell Bed Bug Bites Versus Mosquito Bites
Telling bed bug bites and mosquito bites apart is a tricky business, as they can look similar, and not everyone reacts to bed bug bites in the same wayif they do at all.
Bites from bed bugs may present as red welts, rashes, or blisters. Some might notice a red dot in the middle at the puncture site, which can be fluid-filled and slightly yellow. Frustratingly, this is how mosquito bites present on some people as well.
But the pattern of the bites offers a clue: Bed bug bites tend to appear in straight lines in groups of three or more or as clusters.
And then theres the itch: mosquito bites are quicker to irritate the skin, and quicker to heal, while bed bug bites can take hours or even days to appear, and last much longer. Bed bugs are drawn to the CO2 released from humans breathing, so typically bite exposed areas on the arms, face and neck. And yet, they can burrow through clothing, so bites can also appear on the rest of the body. Some people report they get bitten under the elastic waistband of their PJ bottoms or underwear.
In our case, I was the only one at home with symptoms. It wasnt the only one bitten, but Im the only one who reacted. Lucky me! Although Im happy my kids werent suffering.
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Dealing With Bedbug Anxiety
Some folks prefer to call an exterminator and put it out of their minds altogether. Others find that having a hand in dealing with the issue allows them to feel more in control. If taking action helps you deal with stress, read this guide on how to get rid of bedbugs yourself.
One of the worst parts of bedbug anxiety is the sleepless nights. The fact that you are under attack in your own bed, the one place you are supposed to feel safest, is a horrible feeling. And unfortunately, sleeping on the couch wont help . Thats why one of the best ways of dealing with the stress of bedbugs is to make your bed a safe place again.Bedbug proof mattress covers and bed post interceptors can help isolate your bed from the bedbugs, giving you peace of mind. You still have to treat the rest of the house to get rid of them entirely, but its a huge step in the right direction. Having a safe haven in your bedroom goes a long way towards preserving your sanity.
Can Bed Bugs Cause Long
Bed bugs are not something that most people think about until they actually find them in their home. If youve had a bed bug infestation or youre currently dealing with one, then you know its one of the most distressing times of your life.
Although you will win the battle against these pests, what is more worrying is the long-term impact they can have on your mental health long after youve got rid of them. So lets look at how bed bugs can cause anxiety and what you can do.
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Emotional Effects Of Pest Infestations
Aside from the physical health concerns surrounding pests and the damage they can do to your home or business, an infestation can also result in emotional and psychological effects. Knowing the harm rodents and insects could have on your home and business can help you prevent an infestation from happening to protect your property and promote your family or staffs well-being.
Pests can have an emotional impact on the whole family, whether you have older parents or little children living with you. In commercial buildings such as hotels rodents, insects and wildlife can drive away guests and employees, harming your business and leading to lawsuits in extreme cases. Learn more about the emotional effects of a pest infestation and contact Pestech to help prevent the likelihood of this problem ever affecting your home or business.
Bed Bug Anxiety Is The Worstreally In A Bad Place
So thank God I haven’t seen any other signs of BBs in my apartment after the first treatment, but as many of you have experienced this is a living hell. My anxiety is through the roof. My mom offered to take me to the hospital yesterday, I couldn’t stop crying and didn’t want to go home. I stayed out of the house most of the day today because I can’t handle being home. I still hae more clothes to do, the cleaning is never ending and our apartment was clean to begin with.
I am terrified to go anywhere. I cancelled my out of town trip this weekend. I ended up going to my parents today and sat outside in their backyard. I didn’t even want to sit on the patio furniture, I am SO scared of passing this hell on to someone else. I have been having crying fits sporadically, and arguing with my husband constantly. He is an overly optimistic person and is convinced we saw the only and last BBs when we caught them, and that they are all over and done with. He thinks I’m being over dramatic and is upset because I don’t trust him when he says everything will be OK. I’m afraid the bed bugs will never go away and as soon as we think they are, we will find a bug and start this hell ALL over again. I’m also worried it might come down to disposing everything we own and leaving, but that might even bring me peace of mind.
I know I’m OCD and over the top , but has anyone else felt similar? Is there hope? I want to believe there is, I can’t take this anymore.
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Characteristics Of Included Articles
Table 1 provides descriptive information for the 51 publications identified through our systematic search. During data characterization, we identified five original research papers , six case reports , seven literature reviews , two technical guidelines for health professionals , and the remaining 31 articles were commentary papers. Although the literature reviews contained content related to mental health impacts, the literature reviews themselves did not have an exclusive focus on the mental health impacts related to bed bug infestations. For example, Delaunay explored the topic of bed bugs and travel whereas Munoz-Price et al. explored the topic of bed bugs in healthcare settings.
Table 1 Descriptive information of 51 articles included in the scoping review
Everyone Needs To Remind Themselves That Bed Bugs Are Just A Bug Theyre An Annoyance But Not Anything More Than That
Before you start panicking, its important to remember that bed bugs are just another insect. Theyre annoying and inconvenient, but theyre not a sign of anything other than that. There are plenty of people who have dealt with bed bugs and lived happy lives afterward. Bed bugs arent a symbol of filth or poor hygienetheyre just an annoyance for which weve found a solution .
If you find yourself lying awake at night worrying about bed bugs, try reminding yourself that these pests arent any more dangerous than any other bug you might encounter while walking around your house. The only difference is the fact that they can bite you while you sleep! But this doesnt mean that theyll kill you or make you sick its simply something else to avoid if possible when going through life as a human being on planet earth.
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Physical Symptoms Of Bed Bugs
Once these blood-sucking pests are in your property, it wont be long before you start to notice their presence.
If you arent sure of the signs of an infestation, then the how to tell if you have bed bugs page details exactly what to look for and where.
This parasite needs human blood to live and reproduce, so one of the first signs of bed bugs can be small red bumps or welts that appear on your body. The bed bug bites themselves arent painful but they can itch like crazy!
Despite this, not everyone reacts to the bites, so you might notice other evidence such as black dots that look like dried ink on your bedding, mattress, and box spring.
Identify And Learn To Manage Your Triggers
Long-term problems, such as financial or work-related situations, may take some time to figure out is it a due date, a person, or the situation? This may take some extra support, through therapy or with friends.
When you do figure out your trigger, you should try to limit your exposure if you can. If you cant limit it like if its due to a stressful work environment that you cant currently change using other coping techniques may help.
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Bed Bug Information For Professionals
Manitoba Health’s Health Protection Unit works closely with landlords, tenants, the tourism industry, pest control companies, and other agencies to develop strategies to manage bed bug infestations. The goal is to find solutions to prevent, control and eliminate bed bug infestations and this requires a concerted effort by all stakeholders.
How Did These Pests Find Their Way Into Your Home
One of the most important aspects of dealing with bed bugs is finding out how you got them originally so you can prevent bringing them back in and having to deal with them all over again.
Bed bugs are experts at hiding away inside the smallest cracks without you knowing theyre there at first. There are various ways they are brought home with you, but the main way is through travel.
- If youve stayed in a hotel, on a cruise ship, or even at a friends house and theyve got bed bugs then they can easily hitch a ride in your luggage or backpack.
- Public transport is also another potential way you could pick up a bed bug if it crawls onto your clothing or into your bag.
- Bringing used furniture into your home is another common route. They hide inside cracks and crevices and wont be seen unless you really look for them.
- Moving into an apartment that already has bed bugs is reported more often now.
These are just some of the ways they get in and once youve had them youll always be on the lookout for them.
This image shows how small bed bugs are so can easily hide away
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Should You Be Afraid Of Bed Bugs
Bed bug paranoia is a very real thing. They can show up nearly anywhere and everywhere: in public transportation locations, hotels, schools, offices, even in our own homes. On any given day you can likely find a bed bug report pop up in some parts of the country. For people with limited education concerning bed bugs, its no wonder they fear them. Letting your mind run wild with dangers and uncertainties is easy when you know little about something, even more so with their increasing resurgence in the news. But to what extent should you let your anxiety bed bugs go? How much is too much? If you dread the day you could need a bed bug exterminator, take a deep breath this fear doesnt need to control your life.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs cannot fly like a mosquito or jump like a flea, but they do move fairly quickly. Once they emerge from their hiding spot, they feed on their host for about five to ten minutes before retreating to digest the blood. Their routine feeding time occurs from around midnight to 5 in the morning, so its unlikely theyll feed on you while youre awake. Even if they did, you probably wouldnt notice. The bite of a bed bug is actually quite painless. They inject an anesthetic as they feed, and their mouths are so small and their bite so shallow into the skin that it would be improbable to feel while awake, let alone be painful enough to wake you up. The only discomfort comes later when the infamous bites begin to itch.
What’s the Risk?
Can You Get Ptsd From Bed Bugs
There are many reasons why these tiny insects cause so much suffering. Bed bugs purposely strike when youre asleep and at your most vulnerable. They spread rapidly and attack you when youre least likely to defend yourself, and apply a numbing agent from their bites so you dont feel their presence.
Once the anxiety starts, every tiny movement, every molecule that touches your skin the wrong way is now a bed bug.
Below is an example of the psychological effects of bed bugs causing PTSD .
Rebecca Ross had been living in her new Minneapolis apartment for only a week when she started noticing the bugs. Having grown up in the rural Midwest, the 25-year-old wasnt afraid of insects. But these were unfamiliar.
First, there were only a few. Then, she started noticing them in clumps. Dozens of the bugs were crowded in corners, between cracks in furniture, and most of all near the bed.
She sent a picture to maintenance, who replied with a damning diagnosis: Rosss new place was infested with bed bugs. The insects, which resemble of apple seeds and feed on human blood, infest virtually anywhere humans congregate and are on the rise, according to the National Pest Management Association.
Still, Rosss landlord said he needed confirmation before he could send an exterminator, so Ross began collecting the critters in clear plastic bags.
Ross is looking for a new apartment, but the psychological scars remain.
I know for awhile Im going to be on edge, she said.
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How To Check For Bed Bugs
Good luck! Depending on the stage of infestation, detecting live bugs can be difficult. Not because they are invisible to the human eyetheyre not that smallbut because they tend to come out to feed at night while youre sleeping.
But its not impossible to find clues that theyve been crawling around your bed. Heres how to look and what to look for:
- Unless your bedroom is extremely well-lit, grab a flashlight to examine your sheets and pillowcases for tiny blood stains .
- Also look for bug excrementit will look like tiny dark brown dotsand feel for a sandy texture, which would be caused by tiny scraps of egg shells and shed skins. If you discover anything that looks like a grain of rice, it might very well be eggs or shells.
- Look closely at your mattresss seams for signs of excrement and live bugs. Check the box springs and joints in wood frames, too, plus the headboard.
- Still nothing? Check bedside tables, books, phones and radios, the edge of the carpet/floor and skirting board, and even in electrical sockets .
- Try setting an alarm and searching the bed sheets and seams at night, when bed bugs are likely to be more active.
Even with the most thorough search, you may never find a live bug. We never did, despite months of searching and examining the sheets several times a night. What we did find on the sheets was bed bug excrement, as well unusual debris which turned out to be shells.
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My perapalitoc friend called me and asked me to call,the front desk at the motel six hes in, because hes been trying to get out for about 3 hrs.he cant reach the door and needed assistance,I got here about 45 min ago,talked to the front desk about it,and after all the attitude the clerk me,Im still in the hallway waiting,o dont see how I informed the front desk ,about the situation and I am still waiting for someone to open the door 1hr is gone by and still no assistance..this is UNACCEPTABLE!!!!
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