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Psychological Effects Of Having Pests At Home


We all know for a fact that pests can cause deadly diseases to human beings. Did you know that they can affect our psychological health as well? According to psychologists, having pests such as bed bugs, cockroaches, and mice can lead to negative psychological manifestations such as nightmares, flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, insomnia, anxiety, avoidance, trauma, and personal dysfunction. There are instances when human beings experience unfortunate events with certain pests. Without proper intervention, it could lead to phobia and other psychological disorders. 


Phobia is not just about fear towards an insect, a situation, or an object. Phobia is a kind of psychological disorder that can result in malfunction and disorientation. This disorder is characterized by extreme and irrational fear, to the point that a person can no longer function properly by just the thought of the object of fear. Phobia can really shape the perceptions of a person. It makes the object or the situation, or the creature seem threatening and deadly. It makes the person feel like it is the end of the world by just thinking about it.

A person with phobia does not only experience the symptoms elicited by fear. When a person is triggered, or when the person is faced with the object of fear, he or she experiences uncontrollable anxiety. The person feels the extreme necessity to avoid the threat. In rare cases, this could lead to suicide. When a person with a phobia is exposed to his fear, he is unable to think and function properly. His realization and acknowledgment of the fear are irrational, unreasonable, and exaggerated. It is nearly impossible to calm him down.

In most cases, a person with phobia experiences sweating, abnormal breathing, trembling, hot flushes, chills, and a choking sensation when triggered. Others experience nausea, headache, stomach pains, muscle aches, and chest pains. To some, they go straight to hyperventilating and fainting.

In relation to pests, there are three types of phobia—the Katsaridaphobia, the Arachnophobia, and the Entomophobia. Katsaridaphobia is the extreme and irrational fear of cockroaches. Arachnophobia is the irrational fear of spiders. Lastly, Entomophobia is the fear of insects in general. People with these disorders can no longer function properly with the presence of their triggers. Some are reported never to go inside their houses because of the extreme fear of having pests around. In contrast, there are people who would rather stay inside their houses because they are afraid of any flying insects outside their home.  

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

There are also instances when people develop obsessive-compulsive disorder as a result of acquired phobia. This disorder is characterized by unwanted and disturbing thoughts, images, and urges that intrude a person's mind. To alleviate such disturbing thoughts, a person is forced to engage in repetitive behaviors or mental acts.

Because of their irrational fear of pests, a person might be inclined to clean over and over again. He might sweep the floor, wipe the table, or wash his hands for at least 10 times before he becomes satisfied. Having a phobia of pests can lead to "Contamination obsessions". This is characterized by the extreme distress of getting in contact with dirt, dust, sticky substances, and germs. In turn, a person develops washing or cleaning compulsions such as excessive wiping in the toilet, excessive showering, and brushing of teeth, excessive need to do the laundry and clean the house repeatedly, and many more. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

This is another type of anxiety disorder that is caused by a very stressful or distressing event. A person with PTSD experiences irritability, hypervigilance, isolation, and nightmares. Infestations can lead to PTSD especially in severe cases. A person can acquire PTSD after being swarmed by wasps, bitten by bees, and other unfortunate encounters with cockroaches, mice, and spiders. 

Delusional Parasitosis

When we see a disgusting insect, we literally feel it crawl all over our skin. However, there are cases when this sensation gets so severe that it can cause a psychological malfunction. According to Entomologists, over 100,000 people suffer from this disease but is often ignored. This is because of lack of awareness. Without the necessary facts about this disorder, people will think of the symptoms as normal. People will only be alarmed when it gets worse and causes self-harm.

A person who has this disorder think that he is infested by "invisible" bugs. Therefore, he experiences crawling sensations, itchiness, stinging, burrowing in the skin, and hallucinations. This usually happens as an effect of PTSD or phobia. However, this poses a more gruesome threat. According to reports, people with this disorder will do anything to get rid of the imaginary bugs and insects on their skin. This includes removal of "insects" using tweezers and other tools and scratching dreadfully to get rid of the itchy sensation. 

Psychological Interventions

Interventions include psychological and behavioral treatments to alleviate psychological distress.  For phobias, experts use Exposure Therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy as an intervention. From the name itself, exposure therapy is the process of changing your response to the object of fear. This includes gradual and repeated exposure to the feared insect until a person can manage his fear and anxiety. Exposure therapy helps a person by granting him the ability to control his thoughts and perceptions towards the insect. This helps him realize that there is nothing to fear.

On the other hand, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the combination of gradual exposure and cognitive techniques to change the views of a person regarding their object of fear. With the help of a professional, a person with a specific phobia can develop a sense of mastery over his thoughts and feelings. So, when he is faced by a compromising situation, he can easily manipulate his response and get over the extreme fear. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can also be used to help people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

For people with Delusional Parasitosis, medical intervention is required to control the delusion and the hallucinations. According to psychiatrists, this disorder can be treated using antipsychotic agents,  mainly pimozide. However, they also note that regular monitoring through the electrocardiograph is necessary to track the improvements of the disease in the mind.

Prevent Any Pest Infestations

  1. It is important to keep your house clean and tidy. Clean up after every activity especially after eating and cooking. The crumbs and stains from the food and oil are very good attractants of cockroaches, ants, and mice. 
  2. Regularly do the laundry. Did you know that certain pests are attracted to body sweat and food stains on clothes? If you don't want any of your clothes to be infested by pests, do the laundry 2 to 3 times a week.  
  3. If you have pets, better clean and bathe them after they play outside. It's possible that insects have latched on to their fur as a way to get inside the house. When this happens, there is a great chance that you will be facing a full-on tick and flea infestation in a couple of weeks. Take note, these pests do not only target animals. When they get desperate, they feed off of human beings as well. With the presence of these insects, a person could acquire Lyme Disease. In some cases, it could lead to anemia and skin infestation when ignored. 
  4. To keep pests from coming inside your home, apply lawn treatments regularly. This eliminates the food source of bigger pests. Therefore, they are inclined to see past your house and move on to the next. 

Call For Help

To reduce if not eliminate the chances of having distressful experiences pests, call for help from the local exterminator near Denver, NC. But before you do that, you need to consider several factors to know which one to choose.

First and foremost, do your research and find out which among your choices have the best reviews. But remember not to rely on these reviews very much. There are more important factors to consider in choosing the best pest control company.

Consider the skillfulness and the expertness of the exterminators. Are they highly trained? Do they have the necessary credentials to perform extermination?  Another important factor to consider is the methodologies used by the company. What do their treatments consist of? What is their process of exterminating pests in the exterior and interior portions of the house? Are their treatments harmful to human beings, pets, and plants?

Lastly, consider the affordability of the service. As responsible homeowners, you need to keep an eye on your budget to make ends meet. Look for pest control service that fits your budget. If you are searching for the best pest exterminator near you, contact Lake Norman Home Services. This company does not only meet the criteria mentioned above. They give more than what is expected. With the help of their exterminators, you can eliminate and prevent any pest inside and outside your home. All at a very affordable price. The services of Lake Norman Home Services are time-tested and proven effective. It is completely safe for humans, animals, and plants. So, you do not have to worry about any damage at all. What are you waiting for? Avail of the service plan now!