A bed bug infestation in your home can be difficult to deal with. Not only are there concerns of bites from the little critters, they are extremely difficult to get rid of once they've taken over your home. But, for some people, bed bugs can cause or exacerbate mental health issues, which can have long-lasting effects that can continue on long after the little blood suckers are exterminated. Here's what you need to know about the mental health effects of a bed bug infestation and what you can do about it if it happens to you.
Know the Mental Health Concerns
The thought of little bugs in your bedding can make it difficult to sleep. Some people, however, can suffer from severe anxiety and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) due to bed bug infestations in their homes. In fact, the University of Montreal conducted a study of people who lived in bed bug infested apartments and found that 81% of them suffered from the psychological and emotional distress that are associated with PTSD symptoms.
The problem can be compounded for those who already have or are prone to mental health disorders such as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). It can cause them to become hypervigilant and continually get up to search their mattress and bedding for bed bugs. Sometimes, the problem can be so severe that those affected may seek temporary shelter elsewhere, which can be costly if the only alternative is a hotel.
Find the Cause of the Infestation
Bed bugs tend to migrate from one home to the next, but they can also be brought into the home by hitching rides on clothing, bedding, furniture, and appliances. If you have a bed bug infestation, you may need to do some investigating to determine where the bed bugs came from. Think back to when you've brought new, rented, or used items into your home and thoroughly check those items out for signs of bed bugs. Of course, you may need to enlist the help of a friend or family member to help if you have mental health concerns due to bed bugs.
If the cause of the infestation is narrowed down to a particular retail store and rental furniture infested my house with bed bugs, you may be able to present a lawsuit against the establishment to seek compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as to cover the costs of extermination and alternative living arrangements. If the infestation came from a neighbor, a lawyer can draft a letter to your neighbor requesting they get an exterminator to help reduce your risks of a subsequent infestation.