The Atlantic recently published an article on the psychological effects people experience due to bedbug infestations and spoke with researchers Stéphane Perron at University of Montreal and Jerome Goddard at Mississippi State University. Both men have published a number of research papers that examine those that have suffered from an infestation.
Perron’s studies looked at apartments that were reported to the Montreal Public Health Department for unsafe conditions – some with bedbugs and some without. Through a questionnaire, he found that those with a bedbug problem were far more likely to report anxiety and sleep disturbances than those without.
Goddard conducted his study by reviewing posts on bedbug website and forums. When the posts were compared against a checklist of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, he found that 81 percent of those posting on the forums were describing psychological and emotional effects often associated with the disorder. This includes hyper-vigilance, paranoia, obsessive thoughts and depression.
In a separate study, researchers asked people in seven cities via a questionnaire to describe their reaction to bedbug bites. Of the 474 that responded, 29 percent said they suffered from insomnia, 22 percent reported emotional distress and 20 percent said they had anxiety as a result of the bugs.
If you are worried about bringing these pests into your home, try a mattress encasement from Protect-A-Bed to keep bedbugs out of your bed.