By now, we’ve all heard the seemingly never ending news on how bad the bed bug problem is here in the United States (and here in the Puget Sound). But although bed bugs may be the glamour pest right now, it’s important to keep things in perspective. The media is here not only to report the news but also to get ratings, and most of us are all certainly aware that many news stories are enhanced with sensationalistic aspects to increase buzz.
Yes–bed bugs are loathsome creatures, stalking us at night, literally feeding on us while we’re helplessly asleep and unable to fight back. But now, with the tons of news stories that have come out on bed bugs, and this revolting pest being “top of mind” in a lot of people’s heads, we’re seeing a trend toward what I term as “mild temporary delusory parasitosis.” That is, people who are being “bitten” by bed bugs without actually being bitten by anything at all. Often, the mere fact that they may have seen a news story, traveled recently, or stepped foot inside a theater or store that received press for finding bed bugs is enough to plant the seed for some people that something must be biting them.
In our extremely thorough professional bed bug inspections that we perform at Whitworth Pest Solutions, we are often able to put many people’s minds at ease and end this temporary feeling of being parasitized (please note that true Delusory Parasitosis is a serious psychological disorder). Be aware of pest control companies that jump to conclusions and “find” bed bugs in your home or business a little too easily, capitalizing on your fear of being bitten in the night.
If you feel you may be a victim of a bed bug infestation and decide to hire an exterminator, ask that they provide proof of the insects existence before purchasing thousands of dollars worth of treatments. Whitworth Pest Solutions will not perform expensive treatments (other than placing monitoring devices out to find evidence) until we have found the bed bugs themselves or their eggs.