Can BedBugs Cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

In one of our previous posts, “Killem Pest Profile Series: What You Need to Know about Bed Bugs”, we looked bed bugs and how bed bug infestations can be treated. Did you know that bed bugs are capable of causing significant emotional and psychological harm to an individual? Read on to find out more.

What are Bedbugs?

Bedbugs are an extremely common pest which often infest places where many people come into contact with each other. They are known for roosting in the beds of homes, hotels, motels, hostels, cruise ships, and many other places, though they will often also live in other furniture and the walls.

They are small, brown, oval-shaped, and recognizable because of the sweet yet musty odor they produce. Full-grown males are larger than females, and range from 2.5mm to 4.5mm long. Humans frequently develop rashes from their bites, which can lead to greater problems like skin infections.

A bedbug

Bedbugs are parasitic and will feed on the blood of any animals they come in contact with. They are notoriously difficult to eliminate, and it is recommended that anyone facing an infestation call an exterminator to remove them all.

Bedbug bites

What is PTSD?

PTSD is the abbreviation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a mental health condition that a person develops after a traumatic incident or event. Some of the symptoms include severe anxiety, nightmares, lashing out at others when stressed, excessive anger, or uncontrollable thoughts about the person’s source of stress.

One of the most common examples of PTSD is demonstrated by soldiers who returned home from catastrophic wars like WWII. Because of their constant stress and the terrifying nature of the events, many soldiers would suffer flashbacks or panic when they heard something that sounded like gunfire. For example, some former soldiers would tackle their family members and try to protect them because they heard popcorn popping and thought it was shellfire.

How are they related?

So, how is it possible for bedbugs and PTSD to be related? According to recent psychological studies, people dealing with bedbug infestations reported similar symptoms to people with PTSD. People reported severe anxiety, traumatic flashbacks to finding the bugs in their homes, and fitful slumber often characterized by nightmares. The mental health of the people faced with bedbugs was unknown prior to the infestation, but up to 81% in one study experienced similar symptoms to PTSD sufferers.

Human Fear

But what can people do about this high source of stress? There are a few options available, but the three greatest ones are therapy, educating oneself about bedbugs and realizing they do not mean a person is dirty, and regular pest control checkups to ensure they don’t return.

The first option may seem obvious, but is helpful. Speaking to a therapist helps people feel calmer and express their anxiety to a neutral outlet without fear of judgement. Proper education is related to this first option. The more people learn about bedbugs, the more they realize that the pests didn’t invade their home because a person is dirty. Instead, bedbugs are extremely common in cities and have been on the rise in recent decades due to the ease of travel.

One of the biggest causes of bedbug-induced PTSD is the lack of peace of mind. By having regular, thorough inspections, a person is able to see that there are no hidden bedbugs in their home and can start working on their symptoms of anxiety. It is recommended that people pursue this option in addition to counseling to help treat their nerves. Either way, there are many things a person can do to help them cope with bedbug-induced PTSD.

People who have experienced bedbug infestations in Singapore can contact Killem Pest, as we offer professional bedbug control in Singapore and can schedule regular inspections for you.


Killem Pest Profile Series: What You Need to Know About Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are some of the most difficult pests to remove once they have taken a hold in your home. Unlike other pests like mosquitoes or rodents, bed bugs do not actually spread disease. However, they are a very big nuisance because bits from bed bugs cause itching, which can lead to excessive scratching and thereby skin infection. Being bitten by beg bugs at night also causes a loss of sleep.

They can get into the linen on the beds, which is how they got their name. However, you should not be fooled into believing that they only infest beds. They can also get into the carpets, curtains, and even clothing.

The Biology of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs have a brownish color before they have fed. After feeding, on blood of animals and people, they turn a red color. The baby bed bugs are very difficult to see, as they do not have much color to them at all.

These six-legged creatures can reach up to a quarter of an inch long when they are adults. They will mature in about 21 days, and they can live for several months without feeding. Females of the species can lay one to five eggs each day, and this is how they can spread and infest an area so quickly.

Bed Bugs Close Up

How to Check for a Bed Bug Infestation

How do you know if you have a bed bug infestation? Some of the most common signs are:

  • Your children wake up and have skin that itches
  • You might also notice that there are small blood stains on your pillow cases and sheets from when the bed bugs have fed
  • You may see the shed skin and eggs from the bed bugs
  • You may even see the adults, even though they typically come out to feed on blood at night

Bed Bug Bites

What to Do When You Have a Bed Bug Infestation

Getting rid of bed bugs by yourself can result in many failed attempts. It is extremely difficult to do, and you would be much better served by having professionals in Singapore come in with the right equipment to take care of things.

There are several proven methods that can be used for treating an infestation and getting rid of the bed bugs.

Spray and Gas Treatment

A very popular and effective option is to use spray and gas treatment. This utilises dual spraying action, and it makes it possible to cover a large area in a short period. It can eliminate the bed bugs, as well as the eggs they have already laid.

Steaming

Another option is steaming. One of the benefits of this method is that the steaming can occur even if there are people and pets in the home at the time. This makes it a fast and efficient option, and it also happens to be environmentally friendly.

If you have signs of a bed bug infestation, do not wait to get the help you need. Get effective and professional bed bug control from Killem as we can take care of the problem right away.