To be 100% clear from the start this is not about a combined parasite but to illustrate how even an apparently simple single celled organisms can have a profound and major impact on its host, often beyond its apparent abilities. The classic example of this is the single celled organism the Toxoplasma gondii which usually reproduces asexually which is something of an evolutionary dead end, the solution, to find other gondii to mate with, thus allowing diversity in your genetic makeup.
So how does a single celled organism find other single celled organisms (its not as if they have access to the slime moulds of dating apps), the answer is that they influence their host to make they affectionate to a specific organism and aim to hook up in its digestive tract. In this case the gondii influence rodents to be less fearful of cats and thus more likely to be consumed.
It is also known that those who are affectionate enough to keep a house full of cats (let’s face it 10+ is probably a sensible limit) show high levels of gondii activity and the Egyptians were known to be rather heavily infested, presumably why cats featured so heavily in their symbology and religion.
So how does this relate to bedbugs? Well if the gondii is capable of doing it its possible that, something within the bedbugs biology or closely associated with bedbugs could have the same level of influence. Could it be that the common symptoms listed below are in fact induced by the organism itself:
Feeling of being unclean
Low sleep quality
Feeling of being crawled upon
In some cases this human behaviour is beneficial to the insect in that it promotes dispersal, something that would have been highly beneficial to bat bugs who found themselves without their original hosts in a cave context.
Equally as with the gondii some individuals are not as heavily influenced by the issue and can even appear apathetic to the issue itself, in the case of some of our most extreme cases with multi year infestations the signs of activity are extremely obvious and yet the occupant seems content to co-exist. It may also be that emotional and mental toughness have an influence on this although extensive clinical research is much needed.
After years of meeting people and helping them through the bedbug problems we have complied some resources below designed to help you manage these influence and keep things as positive as possible throughout the process.
- Relaxation Resources
- Support Resources
- Panicked or confused about bed bugs