Bed bugs are a common urban irritant in the so-called developed
Entomologists and pest management
professionals have raised a red flag.
Bed bugs were declared a plague in 2012 in the USA.
A report by a pest control provider named Terminix, listed major US cities among them Chicago, Washington DC and Miami as bed-bugged.
Philadelphia enjoyed the dubious honour of the most infested US city.
New York held the title two years earlier.
It was a lost opportunity that the Kenyan government would have used as a legitimate reason to issue a travel warning to its citizens visiting the United States and with dire threat of a disruptive holiday.
It was not a trending news item but it caught my attention.
The bedbug infestation in Baba Dogo
estate in Nairobi.
I would have probably missed it, but for the news poll questions.
Is it a case of hygiene or witchcraft? I was forced to empathize with the Baba Dogo residents.
Some looked embarrassed and defeated.
In the league of issues affecting us in the country,bed bugs cannot be competing for airtime when we
have serious security concerns and scandals like Anglo Leasing resurfacing.
Residents of Baba Ndogo were complaining about how nasty things had gotten.
People could not sleep.
Bugs will keep you awake at night with an itch that cannot be ignored.
I applaud the reporter who filed this story, but I was surprised that there was not much reaction and at
best a muted response to this issue from the public.
Bed bugs, like jiggers, make us squirm.
A bed bug infestation seems like a ridiculous prospect in the year 2014.
This is the story we assume is confined to some seedy, dirt-cheap
boarding and lodging room, housed in the sleaziest corner of the city.
However, this is not some third-world issue linked to un-hygienic city housing conditions.
That said, bed bugs are an issue that I wish my governor will not take lightly.
These little creatures are savvy travelers, hiding in the cracks of suitcases and a single female will give birth to four generations.
Therefore if there are bed bugs in Baba Dogo for a year, we can safely conclude that the city is bugged.
As far as bugs that bug go, they are a formidable force.
Even the tenacious cockroach does
not play in this league.
They apply stealth, suck blood and have proven to be a major nuisance for a creature that does not kill
Here is another scary fact.
Reputable fumigators have repeatedly said that bed bugs are
the most difficult pests in urban spaces to eradicate.
In the post-DDT blanket spray era, there is really no cheap and easy way to get rid of bed bugs.
Fumigators have to offer a guarantee that humans will not be collateral damage in their quest to poison the pest.
The bad news is that bed bugs are a poor man’s burden.
If you cannot afford a professional
fumigator, they will have their way with you.
Give Nairobi’s past dismal record in disaster responsiveness to anything reportedly tragic, you can appreciate my real concerns here.
There is metaphor in all this.
‘Kikulacho kinguoni mwako’.
A true parasite never forgets to schedule its ‘feeding’.
A parasitic system will suck you dry and still return on cue for more.
By the time one comes to appreciate the scale of the menace, they will
already have become a victim of it.
“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®