There are times when insects get blamed for skin irritations, bites, itches or unusual feelings experienced on the skin. In many cases after careful examination, an insect may be found that is the dirty culprit to skin irritations. However, more times than many would care to believe, no evidence of an insect issue is ever found. What happens then?

The term used in cases like these is “formication” which is defined as a sensation like insects crawling over the skin. Any of the following can play a part in crating the feeling or an environment where insects are suspected:

  • Sensitivity to dry air, fabric softeners, detergents and soaps may be the cause of skin irritations.
  • Diabetic neuropathy can cause such sensations.
  • Side effects from medicines or drug use may also cause such sensations.
  • Delusionary Cleptoparasitosis is described as when one believes that there is an imaginary infestation of insects in the home that do not exist.
  • Delusional Parasitosis is when the sufferer has a false belief that their skin or body is infested with insects.
  • Here is the ‘stinger’ in this article! Even if a health care professional says a skin irritation looks like an insect bite, it does not make it true.

If no evidence can be found in a home indicating an insect problem, it is unethical for a pest control professional to treat the home for an imagined or unidentifiable insect. If a treatment is done by an unethical “Bug Man” and the problem continues, What happens then? Undeniable proof is necessary before any further treatment can be considered. If no physical proof can be found, a health care professional should be consulted.

What will help in identification of an insect problem is to simply find a physical sample of the insect that is feared to inhabit your home. Fuzzy pictures or phone videos are not enough. There should be a sharp photo to make identification concrete; but a physical sample of the insect is ALWAYS the best evidence so that a plan can be formed to solve the problem.

One of the most feared insects to crawl on people is the bed bug. Even after a successful treatment, solid physical evidence must be presented before continuing pesticide applications. Applying pesticide on top of pesticide is not wise or healthy for the homeowner.