A lot of people think that the only effect of having bed bugs is concerning a victim’s health. What naturally and immediately occurs to them is that bed bugs bite, and these bites can get itchy. Some are even allergic to the bed bug’s sting. However, a bed bug problem is more than skin deep. Victims not only encounter physical difficulties, but they also suffer through a lot of psychological challenges such as:
1. Feeling ashamed or embarrassed
Once you discover that you have a bed bug problem, you’re not likely to tell others about the situation you’re in. You’ll probably keep it a secret, and this is no surprise. One reason for this is that bed bug infestations were thought to be problems in poor or filthy places. But there is really nothing to be ashamed about this. Today, for instance, five-star hotels and posh apartments are also having bed bug issues. One reason for this is that modern people are often moving from one place to another, or traveling from one country to another.
2. Getting overly stressed about how to manage the problem
It’s not easy to come home and discover that you have bed bugs. The first step that you’ll probably take is to try to get rid of the bugs on your own. That means washing and drying all infected items, like linen, bedding, and even bags and shoes. But sometimes, it’s more than that. What if you also have a family to think about? What if you just brought your newborn baby to your house and then you found out that you have a pest problem? When something like this happens, you’ll need to look for a place where you and your family can stay while your house is being treated. If this occurs, then renting a place will be an additional cost and an added stressor as well.
3. Having anxiety attacks
Lots of individuals who have successfully managed their bed bug problem experience anxiety attacks afterwards. For instance, a person could feel extremely agitated after finding a mosquito sting because this reminds her of a bed bug bite. Another individual might have a tremendous need to vacuum or clean his house every day, or he might no longer like having people around his house for fear of visitors unknowingly carrying bed bugs.
Dealing with Psychological Effects
Psychologists and those who are in the behavioral sciences believe that infestations do have significant impacts on a person’s psyche. This is why individuals who feel that their habits, moods or personalities have changed after dealing with a bed bug infestation should get help from a psychologist or psychiatrist. (Some have even described going through behavioral changes while their homes were being treated.) Victims of bed bug infestations will probably need help in order for them to cope better. Maybe they just need a professional who will not only listen to them, but also determine if they need to be treated for the emotional dilemma that they’re going through. Others might require medicine to keep their worries and anxiety at bay as well.
- frank_l_ludwig. “When Ives W. McGaffey died, he left a vacuum”. October 8, 2007. Online image. Flickr. April 12, 2013.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Claire Pritchard is a freelancer who specializes in pest management issues. Her goal is to help increase awareness about common household pests, and many of her articles have been used by http://www.admiralpest.com/mission-viejo-pest-control/ .