My Experience with Bedbugs and why they are notoriously tough to Kill.


By Vincent Mageto

Have you ever been bitten by bedbugs? If you have never, then count yourself lucky and I mean very lucky those little bloodsucking things are a great nuisance. My experience with bedbugs has been one journey I cannot forget, just the thought of it makes my body itch. The marks I had about two years ago told the story by themselves, the swellings all over my body that constantly itched was a great bother.

I had just moved in a new room with a friend of mine whom I had lived with for more than one year. The excitement I had was evident because as we all know in a university compound it is not easy to find a large room to live in. This was my big luck, I made all the arrangements, the décor was set and I moved to my new room. The first night I slept I just kept itching and I thought it was because of the sweat, I had worked hard the whole day to move in and I had not had a shower. I did not suspect anything I just got up in the middle of the night and had a shower, it was good but the itching did not stop it just got worse. When I felt pain quickly got up to look but I never saw anything because as we all know bedbugs bite first and run away undiscovered.

So the next day I took the initiative to wash the whole house again this time with hot water and a common insecticide thinking my problems will soon be over. That day I even invited a friend to check out my new gorgeous room but the situation to say the least had turned to the worst. The bedbugs were everywhere that night, climbing up the walls and all over my new covers. The funny thing is that my dear friend was sleeping soundly and did not have any discomfort. I guess those creatures too discriminate having an appetite for one type of blood than the other. I did not sleep that night enough was enough for me I had to move out of that house.

Now the other dilemma was how was I going to move without carrying the bedbugs with me? I boiled water and socked every item of clothe I had one after the other. Thanks to God my transition was peaceful.

Two months later a friend moved in and the bedbugs were still there but at least she had the patient to deal with them. I came to learn later that bedbugs can stay three months without a single meal and still survive.

Bedbugs have become a common problem in Kenya, especially most universities hostels, every beginning of a new semester you may see mattresses outside the hostels being treated for bedbugs but the problem never seems to end. In my experience there is one insecticide that I have seen work. Just visit any recognized Agrovet they will recommend you the insecticide specifically for Bedbugs. Remember to spray the mixture of powder and water everywhere and everything in your room or house.

Bedbugs, tiny, flat parasites that hide where people sleep are notoriously tough to kill. Bedbugs have genes that disarm pesticides. Most of the genes are active in the bugs’ outer shells, or cuticles. Some work to pump poisons away, before they can enter the insect’s bodies. Others genes break the chemicals’ molecular bonds, rendering them harmless. When researchers blocked these genes, the bedbugs became susceptible to insecticides.

So far, bedbugs are the only insects that have been found to have these kinds of defenses in their outer cuticle. Other insects, which feed on plant material, develop defenses to toxins in their guts.

Bedbugs come out at night. They only take five to eight minutes to feed and then they go back to cracks and crevices where they aggregate. Those cracks and crevices might be in your mattress or headboard or things like that. So when you apply an insecticide, it’s tough to get it to where they are. Hitting them where they live is one problem.

It is recommended common sense measures to tackle them such as removing bedroom clutter, frequent vacuuming, washing bed linens in hot water and heating them in a dryer, and sealing cracks and crevices.

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