When getting into the details of an infestation it is easy to forget about the people the infestation affects. We often think of the damage bed bugs cause in terms of physical health; bites, disease, and other physical ailments are often the first things we think of. What gets less attention, and what may be by far the greatest health concern, is the damage to mental health these critters cause. The mental toll an infestation takes is even greater than the risk of disease; in fact there is actually little evidence bed bugs are significant transmitters of pathogens. Bites are another thing we think of first, but the bites at worst only cause inflammation which disappears in about a week.
The emotional and psychological damage seems to be worse than the physical ailments. Some immediate mental effects from an infestation are anxiety and insomnia. Constant worry and a feeling of shame often accompany encounters with these pests. One study found that around half of people with an infestation have sleeping difficulties. A study by TheConversation.com analyzing internet posts found that 81% of the posts contained 3 or more descriptions of symptoms of PTSD. These negative symptoms include nightmares, intrusive memories, and hyper-vigilance. Even more damaging is the social isolation bed bugs cause, as people are afraid to have people visit their infested homes.
The mental cost of bed bugs surely takes its toll on its victims, but there are steps you can take to prevent this infestation from happening to you. If you are traveling be sure to leave items you don’t need in your car. Leave your luggage in the bathroom while you inspect the room for signs. Check the sheets, bed spring and if you find any signs of the bugs (i.e. black fecal stains) be sure to call the front desk and request a room change.
The most important thing to monitor, however, is when you come back home from travel. This is where many infestations of homes and apartments begin. When you return home from a trip, leave your luggage outside or in the garage. Be sure to wash all of your clothing and dry them with high heat. Heat is a bed bugs mortal enemy and will quickly dispatch these critters. Also be wary of accepting used furniture or beds. The price may be tempting but eliminating a bed bug infestation will cost you more than you could ever save by buying a used mattress.
If you do have an infestation, don’t hesitate to call for assistance. At Sure Fire Bed Bug Heaters we provide all the products you could ever need to combat bed bugs. By renting the heating equipment you can save a ton of money as well. If you have a bed bug infestation in the Cleveland / Akron area, be sure to contact us for our support.