When the word bedbug is mentioned, some people mostly victims, will envisage small annoying creatures who deprive people of peaceful sleep.
Fortunately, for others bedbug is non-existence.
First, bedbugs are small flat parasites that feed solely on human and animal blood. They habitually attack at night.
Entomological Society of America notes that bedbugs, when newly hatched, transform their colour from light-brown to reddish-brown.
Within hours, their color fades to brown and after two days, it changes to opaque and black as it digest its meal.
One may wonder why these parasites only appear at night or when one is asleep.
Interestingly, studies show that the parasite is attracted to the host by virtue of seeking warmth, exhaled carbon dioxide and chemicals.
Commonly victims don’t feel the bite instantly until the affected area becomes itchy.
When the pain and itchiness is felt, the parasite have already left the scene, making it difficult to physically harm them.
Additionally, bedbugs stay close to the host for food. They spend only a tiny fraction of their life physically attached to the host making it an exceptional parasite.
Once feeding is complete, it relocates to mattresses, adjacent furniture box springs or folded areas where they comfortably hide.
Sometimes they hide themselves behind baseboards, wallpaper, night stands or picture frames.
These places need to be checked from time to time and fumigated with suitable pesticide.
Excess itching of the skin caused by bedbugs may lead to over scratching of the body and secondary skin infection.
It further causes skin lashes on the body. Some people may as well develop allergic symptoms.
If the itching persist, applying an antiseptic cream is recommended.
Bedbugs can be spread by wild animals such as birds and domestic pets which we physical come in contact with.
Furthermore, people from bedbug infested area will likely carry and spread the parasite via their luggage and bodies.
Mostly bedbugs are found in places where people share bedding with institutions of higher learning being most hit in many cases.
In 2015, for instance, Kenyatta University was forced to part within millions of shilling to buy two machines to eradicate the parasite, which left students with sleepless nights.
It is, therefore, advisable to avoid sharing bedding and promote hygiene, especially for bedrooms to reduce the bedbugs.
By Joseph Macharia