Health impacts of bedbug infestation


  • Daniel Mekonnen
  • Yohannes Zeneb
  • Awoke Derbie
  • Yesuf Adem
  • Derese Hailu
  • Wondemagegn Mulu
  • Fetlework Bereded
  • Zewdie Mekonnen
  • Endalew Yizengaw
  • Begna Tulu
  • Fantahun Biadglegne
  • Adane Mihret
  • Ulrich Sack


Abstract Background: Bedbug is a wingless human blood-sucking bug that generally infests houses and beds. Bedbug infestation is prevalent across the country. Despite its prevalence, however, there is scarce information on the epidemiological, psychological, social and public health impacts of the infestation. This lack may arise from the absence of sufficient research in the area. The impetus for this study arose from this recognition. This study therefore assessed the extent of bedbug infestation in five towns in Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia, and its impact on public health in the areas considered in this study. Methods: A community-based cross sectional study was conducted in five towns of Amhara Regional State from 1 March 2015 to 30 June 2016. Bedbug inspection was done following the Michigan manual for prevention and control of bedbug recommendation. The presence of a living or dead bedbugs, their eggs, their skin discarded in shedding, and their fecal stains or droppings were taken as an infestation. In addition, data from households were collected using pretested, structured and interviewer-administered questionnaire. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Both bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were computed to identify associated factors. Results: From the 203 residential institutions surveyed, evidence of prevalence of bedbugs was located in 75.9% (154) houses. From among the infested residents, 87%, 83.1%, and 71.4% had faced one or more psychological, social and health impacts, respectively. Residential institutions in Bahir Dar town administration were 3.4 times more likely to be infested by bedbug than those in Amanuel town (AOR: 3.4; 95% CI: 1-11). The chances that residents of Kobo town administration had to be infested by bedbug were 41 times more than that of the residents in Amanuel town (AOR: 41; 95%CI: 8-206). However, no statistically significant difference was observed between the rates of bedbug infestation and the type of residential institutions. Conclusions: Bedbug infestation was found to be a major public health problem in Bahir Dar, Woreta and Kobo towns. A significant psychological, social and health impact was observed in the communities. Thus, aggressive public health promotion campaigns against bedbug are recommended to empower the communities and equip them with preventive strategies. Moreover, an effective pest management strategy also needs to be made a priority health agenda, in the particular areas of study. A larger study is recommended to assess more in-depth impacts of bedbug infestation on public health [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2017;31(4):251-258] Keywords: Bedbug infestation, Ethiopia




How to Cite

Mekonnen, D., Zeneb, Y., Derbie, A., Adem, Y., Hailu, D., Mulu, W., Bereded, F., Mekonnen, Z., Yizengaw, E., Tulu, B., Biadglegne, F., Mihret, A., & Sack, U. (2018). Health impacts of bedbug infestation. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 31(4). Retrieved from



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