Thursday, 25 January 2018
Bed bugs. The two words alone can get virtually anyone’s skin crawling. Until recently, the pesky little creatures were not considered to be much of a problem in Singapore. While bed bugs do not spread any infectious diseases, they do pose a number of health risks. An infestation of bed bugs can affect a person’s life in lots of unsavory ways and at this point, the members of all households in Singapore should understand the effects that bedbugs have on the body. Below are some of the signs and the effects of bed bug bits, including long-term health concerns people should worry about.
Mental Disorders, Insomnia, and Anxiety Due To Bedbugs
Depending on how anxious an individual is, some people who have previously had to deal with major infestations will hardly find any sleep or rest in anticipation of bed bug bites. Such individuals will worry or suffer anxiety – a condition commonly referred to as delusional parasitosis. The condition is characterized by the affected individual imagining bugs crawling over him. One may also feel or see bed bugs everywhere. Such patients experience severe cases of insomnia. Some victims also experience panic attacks, nightmares, and feelings of being bitten by bed bugs. The mental discomfort can be very frustrating, as it often leads to increased cases of anxiety, heightened stress levels, and physical exhaustion. Consequently, they may not be able to concentrate on their work, feel depressed, or have mood swings. Therefore, the overall physical and mental wellbeing of the affected patient is impacted in a significant way.
Bed Bug Bites Have Proven Dangerous To Toddlers and Children
Toddlers and children cannot fight the urge to scratch the bite areas and the bacteria that collects beneath their finer nails increases the risk of harmful skin infections. Are the bug bites dangerous when inflicted on toddlers or children? Yes, and in most cases, there may be a need for antibiotics, antihistamines, or steroids to effect a cure.
Bedbug bites are incredibly uncomfortable and itchy. In fact, most people mistake bedbug bites for spider or mosquito bites. Unlike mosquito bites, the bites from bed bugs are generally more irritating and severe. The bite marks appear in clusters and zig-zag patterns on the exposed skin. Some individuals are likely to develop huge red welts, which take longer to fade away. Furthermore, the itching can worsen for some others, as this often leads to scratching. It is important to note that excessive scratching could potentially damage your skin, which will then lead to the risk of exposure to germs in the open wounds. The scratching causes severe irritation and damage to the skin, thereby causing swelling and pain. The infections often lead to even more critical issues such as lymphangitis or impetigo.
If you become a victim to bed bug infestation, assess the bite, but resist the temptation to itch it. Your doctor can provide you with anti-allergy or anti-itch medication if deemed necessary. Note that any kind of irritation could possibly cause other problems as well.
The Risk of Anemia
Infestations often grow quickly without homeowners being aware, which leads to constant biting. The chronic bed bug bites will eventually cause anemia in the extreme cases, especially for anyone exhibiting other risk factors linked to anemia. The people who are most at risk are the in the disabled or the elderly even with a moderate case of infestation. The seniors are more at risk of anemia due to bug bites because the older people have more difficulty maintaining iron levels thus making the risk higher with a bedbug infestation.
If a member of a household has any underlying respiratory conditions, bed bug infestation can worsen the condition. It is important to note that bedbugs shed their casings or outer skins, as they develop. The casings together with the feces of bed bugs dry off and quickly become airborne. Breathing in the cast-off material produced by bed bugs has been proven to seriously aggravate asthma as well as other common respiratory illnesses.
Bed bug infestation is emotionally disturbing, as it can cause a number of secondary problems that affect health significantly. These are outlined below:
i. Stress – It is not so easy to get rid of bedbugs. In fact, dealing with a severe case of bed bug infestation can be extremely overwhelming. The insects can cause stress that might lead to anxiety or depression.
ii. Social Stigma/Isolation - When Singapore residents started reporting cases of bedbug infestations, the social stigma linked to the pesky little bloodsuckers turned ugly. Your friends might temporarily drop out of your life if they discover you have bedbugs in your home. While you can’t blame them, you will feel very lonely. Many studies conducted show that those who know associates experiencing bed bug infestation avoid entering or visiting the bed bug infested homes.
iii. Latent Illnesses – The constant biting and blood feasting could potentially weaken the immune system. As a result, the affected individual will experience more problems with any underlying latent illnesses.
While the control measures put in place greatly lowered the number of bed bugs decades ago, they are now back in full force, meaning they are a problem once again. Insignificant resources allocated to eradicate the bugs have often resulted in an epidemic. Little understanding of the creatures, poor pest control measures and practices, and increased travel all contribute to the ever-increasing numbers of bed bugs.
Getting rid of bed bugs completely using home remedies is not so easy. No matter how careful or thorough you are in executing proper hygiene and cleanliness, you might miss some of the tenacious bugs. Thankfully you can rely on the services provided by the exterminators or pest control companies to effectively eliminate the annoying insects.
It is evident from above that bed bug infestation is no laughing matter. Even though bed bug bites are not known to transmit any diseases, they carry harmful pathogens of Hepatitis B and plague. Furthermore, they cause more harm by introducing other complications and ailments. Therefore, everything must be done by homeowners to ensure they are completely eliminated from homes.