Introduction: Bedbugs (Cimex spp.) are a public health problem and an urban pest that require blood meal from humans, other mammals or birds to survive. Bedbugs constitute an emerging public health problem and infestations have been reported globally. This paper reports three cases of social health problems caused by bedbugs in three residential buildings in Kish Island, Dezful, and Ahvaz in southern Iran.
Case presentation: Case 1; A 42-year-old male living in Dezful city had a bedbug infestation in his house (September 2018). He developed a phobia (entomophobia) about bedbugs. Case 2; A 36-year-old man and 33-year-old woman living in Ahvaz city had a bedbug infestation in their house (August 2017). The woman was very concerned about the bedbug infestation in the house and she had entomophobia, stress, anxiety, insomnia and paranoia; this issue caused resentment and hence conflict between the couple. Case 3: A 25-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man living in Kish Island rented a house from a 45-year-old man. The landlord was very concerned about the bedbug infestation in the house (July 2017), and claimed that the tenants were responsible for bedbugs’ presence. This issue caused hostility and conflict between them. Generally, all cases had bedbug infestations in their houses and this issue caused some social health problems such as entomophobia, concern, fear, stress, anxiety, insomnia, paranoia, resentment and conflict.
Take-away lesson: Bedbugs are not vectors for infectious disease. But, with regard to our observations in the present study, bedbug infestations can produce some social health problems such as entomophobia, concern, fear, stress, anxiety, insomnia and paranoia, as well as resentment, hostility and conflict between residents in infested houses.
Keywords: Bedbug; Cimex spp.; Pest; Human; Case reports


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