Hoarding – a symptom of mental illness in which people stuff their homes with garbage and debris – has reached the public eye thanks to TV shows like A&E’s Hoarders. But in addition to the mental trauma, can hoarding help spread the threat of bed bugs?
Compulsive hoarding is a form of behavior linked to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and is characterized by people filling their homes with incredible amounts of seemingly useless objects and items; to the point that they can barely live there any more.
Researchers have only recently begun to look into what causes Compulsive Hoarding, or how it can be treated – but they’ve already discovered one alarming thing that seems to be inextricably linked to this type of behavior: Bed bugs.
Bed bugs are the ultimate in equal-opportunity parasites – they will quite happily infest both clean and untidy homes and houses alike.
Yet behavior like hoarding makes infestation more troublesome because the overwhelming quantity of “stuff” in a hoarder’s home makes extermination extremely difficult.
To be truly effective, homeowners need to clean and treat every inch of their home – including carpets, bedding, clothes and skirting boards. When houses are filled with a hoarder’s “junk” that makes this task just about impossible.
Which is why hoarders might not be more likely than anybody else to get a bed bug infestation, but they’re much more likely to be unable to get rid of them.
Our advice to anybody trying to help a hoarder deal with bed bugs is to be thorough – and realize that you might need to deal with more than just bed bugs to end the problem.
Until you can adequately clean and treat every inch of a house, you’ll most likely miss bed bugs and their eggs – and see the problem return.
For this reason, spending money on an exterminator is often a waste of time – because despite their willingness to take your money, it’s increasingly unlikely that they can stop the problem returning.
Exterminators use tools like synthetic pesticides that are being proven ineffective at eliminating bed bugs.
Instead, arm yourself with all-natural 100% organic bed bug killing products and take charge of eliminating bed bugs yourself.
But before you do so, you might want to talk to a counselor about treating the “hoarder” with the bed bug issue. Although traumatic and upsetting, the silver lining of a bed bug infestation is that sometimes it serves as the motivation a Compulsive Hoarder needs to seek the treatment they need.