The Hidden Costs of a Bed Bug Infestation

We’ve known for a while now that bed bug infestations are on the rise. These blood-sucking pests are turning up in houses and apartments throughout the country, with no sign of stopping. The physical toll of a bed bug infestation is all too real and all too undeniable. But there are other costs to these home invasions. There is a financial, emotional, and psychological toll to bed bug infestations that often gets overlooked.

Psychological Toll

The psychological impact of a bed bug infestation should not be underestimated. The stress, anxiety, and sleepless nights that accompany these blood-sucking pests can take a serious toll on a person’s mental well-being.

People dealing with a full-scale infestation often experience heightened levels of stress that can ultimately affect their overall quality of life. The emotional distress can lead to loss of sleep, increased absenteeism at work, and strained relationships. All of which come with their own financial costs.

Medical Expenses

Bed bug bites and rashes can cause a variety of physical reactions, ranging from mild irritation to sever allergic responses. While the bites themselves are not known to transmit diseases, the itching and scratching may lead to open wounds and infections. Medical expenses, including doctor visits and medications, can quickly add up as a result of these secondary health issues.

Loss of Personal Belongings

When bed bugs infest a home they typically spread beyond the bedroom, infesting furniture, clothing and other personal items. In most cases these items can be cleaned and salvaged. But in extreme infestations victims often find they need to replace some or all of their infested belongings. This can come at a significant financial cost. Replacing mattresses, furniture, clothing, and electronics can be expensive. Items with sentimental value, such as family heirlooms or photographs, may ultimately be irreplaceable. There loss may lead to additional emotional distress for family members.

Loss of Income

The physical and psychological effects of a bed bug infestation can sometimes lead to a loss of income. Missed days at work due to health issues or time off needed to manage the infestation can result in reduced earnings or even job loss. The financial repercussions of a large bed bug infestation can extend far beyond the immediate expenses of pest control and healthcare.

Temporary Housing

When an infestation is particularly severe it sometimes becomes necessary for families to vacate their homes while bed bug removal treatments take place. Ideally, families can stay with friends or relatives until the treatments are complete. But when that’s not an option it may be necessary to book into a hotel for a night or two. That can be costly, not to mention inconvenient.

Reduced Property Values

A bed bug infestation can have a negative impact on property values. This is particularly true in cities and states that require property owners to fully disclose bed bug histories to prospective buyers and tenants. When selling a home or renting out an apartment potential buyers or renters may be hesitant to commit to a property with a history of bed bug activity, especially if that history includes repeated infestations. This can result in lower selling prices or rental fees, and ultimately translates to a loss of income for homeowners and landlords.

Legal Expenses

Bed bug infestations can be particularly costly for landlords. In addition to the cost of eliminating the infestation landlords may also have to deal with any legal expenses related to rental disputes, eviction proceedings, or damage claims. Lawyers fees and court costs only add to the financial burden of dealing with a large scale bed bug infestation in rental properties.

The Importance of Prevention

Bed bug infestations can cause much more than just physical discomfort. The financial repercussions can be significant. Prevention is the key to avoiding the frustration of bed bug infestations as well as the potential costs come with them. Learn to spot the tell-tale signs of bed bug activity and take note of neighbors or businesses in your area that experience an infestation. Routine bed bug inspections can also help reduce the chance of infestations while minimizing any potential financial losses.

Published by Scott Palatnik

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