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Bed bug infestation rates are high in all areas of the United States, particularly within big cities with dense populations that serve as tourist hotspots. A 2015 survey found that an astonishing 99.6 percent of pest control professionals working in the US had addressed at least one bed bug infestation within a one year period.

Each year numerous organizations and pest control companies in the US release their lists of the most bed bug-infested cities or states in the US. While none of these lists are identical, one thing is for sure, cities and states in the northeast US are well represented on the top ten spots of nearly every one of them.

A science journalist, Brooke Borel, recently compiled a list of stories that she and her colleagues consider to be the most disgusting, large scale, and overall cringe-worthy bed bug infestation cases that have ever been documented within the United States. Not surprisingly, a great number of these unique cases occurred within the northeast US.

One bed bug infestation case in New England described a recently married couple that had been living within an infested apartment. The landlord refused to address the bed bug infestation, which Borel claims is common. After a long fight between the couple over their infested living conditions, the husband inexplicably locked himself in the bathroom for an hour without saying a word. Eventually, the husband emerged naked and completely shaved of all body hair in a desperate attempt to make his body less hospitable to the bugs. Unfortunately for the husband, this method did not work.

Some years ago, Borel attended a bed bug conference where a group of entomologists discussed an unusual case involving hundreds of thousands of bed bugs that infested a family’s home in New Jersey. The bed bugs in the home proliferated to the point where they had completely covered all of the bed’s sheets, and the bed bug presence made the inside of the house appear as though it had been moving.

The most unusual case of all involves an army entomologist who was tasked with identifying mysterious bugs that had been biting army recruits at Ft. Dix in New Jersey during the 1970s when bed bugs were unheard of among most people at the time. Once the entomologist identified the insects as the now common cimex lectularius bed bug species, he had already become obsessed with the creatures to an extent that anyone would consider unhealthy. The entomologist began keeping the bugs in jars at his home where he fed the insects with his own blood. Today, the entomologist is still feeding offspring of the original bed bugs from Ft. Dix. The stress of bed bug infestations have also led to suicide and delusional parasitosis.

Do you find it surprising to learn that bed bug infestation victims have been driven to suicide and delusional mental conditions on account of the stress of an infestation?