You don’t necessarily need to have bedbugs in your home in order to experience the symptoms of a bedbug presence on your skin. We all know that watching a movie or reading a book about something that we fear can induce physiological reactions, such as pupil dilation and sweating. Itching and scratching, much like vomiting, laughing or yawning, can be contagious. So reading an article about bedbugs can make you itch your body as though you are experiencing your own personal bedbug attack.
Seeing someone else itch their skin, or even reading about bugs that cause itching sensations can easily make us do the same, but why? Researchers think that these involuntary sensations occur as an adaptive response to sharing our environment with bugs. If we see someone else itch their body then we are apt to do the same since it indicates that there may be bugs in our environment. In these cases itching can be a way of preventing lice before they make a home on your body. Prehistoric humans dealt with lice regularly, so it makes sense that modern day humans still show behaviors that are aimed at preventing body lice. So the next time you feel a bit itchy after thinking about bedbugs then go ahead and itch away since this behavior is actually quite rational.
Have you ever experienced sensations like the ones described above?