Before tucking yourself into your bed, you may recite the famous line “don’t let the bed bug’s bite”. But for many people, this simple saying carries a sad truth. Bed bugs are not commonly talked about because of the stigma surrounding the sly critters, but you may be surprised to learn that they are more common than you think.
According to Orkin Canada, five Ontario cities have made it onto the “Top 25 list” for bed bug problems in Canada, with Hamilton ranking at number 22. Bed bugs do not discriminate and can make their way into the cleanest of homes by hitching a ride in your luggage, purse, or even on your clothes.
Bed bug expert Steve Rogers explained the reality of bed bugs.
“Bed bugs are a hitchhiker bug,” he stated. “The stigma is that people think that it’s a dirty bug, but it has nothing to do with how you live.”
Bed bugs may leave uncomfortable bites, but they can also leave lasting psychological effects. Alan (who asked that his last name not be used because of the stigma of bed bugs) is a Hamilton resident who recently dealt with these unwelcome guests and is still feeling the lingering effects of his home being taken over.
“I still feel like I have something crawling on me no matter what,” he said. “You can’t get that feeling that they’re not gone out of your head.”
“You end up isolated because you don’t want to go see anyone or have anyone come to you because you don’t want to pass them on,” he continued.
Dealing with a bed bug infestation can drastically affect your life, and with the fear of judgement from others, many are left to deal with it alone.
“A lot of the times the clients haven’t been sleeping… it’s uprooted their entire life,” bug expert Rogers said. “So many people are going through it, but nobody talks about it and they’re just living with it inside their head.”
From itchy bites to unpleasant thoughts, bed bugs are an unwelcome guest in any home. But rest assured that if you do happen to let one in, there are resources available to get your life back to normal.