alexa I’ll rid you of bedbugs, just give me votes - Daily Nation

I’ll rid you of bedbugs, just give me votes

Wednesday April 5 2017

Mr Peter Kimani, a volunteer fumigates a house invested by bedbugs at Lake View Estate in Nakuru on March 14, 2017. More than twenty thousand households are infested by bed bugs in Nakuru County. PHOTO | FILE

Mr Peter Kimani, a volunteer fumigates a house invested by bedbugs at Lake View Estate in Nakuru on March 14, 2017. More than twenty thousand households are infested by bed bugs in Nakuru County. PHOTO | FILE 

LUKORITO JONES
By LUKORITO JONES
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With the General Elections drawing nearer, aspirants are coming up with creative ways to woo voters. One such politician, who has shunned the beaten path of holding rallies and devised an unusual method to attract votes, is Emmanuel Kihara Ndung’u, popularly known in Makadara, Nairobi, as Kajuma.

In an effort to clinch the Maringo Hamza Bahati Ward seat, Ndung’u has taken it upon himself to fumigate the homes in the area, which have been plagued by bedbugs.

Every morning for the past three weeks, Mr Ndung’u, accompanied by a team of six bug termination specialists, has been moving from house to house in Makadara’s Bahati area on a mission to rid the neighbourhoods of the blood-sucking insects.

“Bedbugs have become a major issue in Eastlands,” says the aspirant, adding that the insects have infested virtually every home in the area, which houses mostly low-income earners.

EXPENSIVE AFFAIR

“Bahati area consists largely of informal settlements. Most of the one-room houses are separated by thin cardboard sheets or corrugated iron. As result, when one house in the neighbourhood is infested with bedbugs, they  crawl freely to neighbouring houses and spread like wildfire,” Ndungu explains.

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He adds that  a bottle of pesticide for eradicating bedbugs retails for not less than Sh1,000, which is way beyond the means of many families in the area, so they are forced to endure sleepless nights.

“Even in the event that one family can afford to fumigate their house, the bedbugs usually crawl back in from the adjacent homes. Unless there is a co-ordinated effort involving every home in the vicinity, fumigating a single home is pointless. That is why  I decided to sacrifice my time and resources in order to help the people here have their entire neighbourhoods fumigated free of charge,” Ndungu says.

Alice Adhiambo, a single mother of three, was fortunate enough to have her home fumigated by Ndungu’s team. “I had learnt to endure bedbug bites at night, but my six-month-old baby has been affected the most. The bedbugs keep him awake and he cries all night, keeping my entire family awake. I am looking forward to a peaceful night,” she told DN2.

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FYI

Understanding how the bugs live a can help you identify the best way to eliminate them.

  •  They prefer feeding on humans, but will feed on other mammals as well

  •  They primarily come out to feed at night, but hungry bedbugs can be spotted looking for prey during the day

  •  They suck on blood for three to  12 minutes continuously

  •  On average, a bedbug feeds once every five days. However, they can survive  for up to 300 days without a meal.

  •  In order to mate and produce eggs, both male and female  must feed at least once every fortnight.

  •  Each female bedbug can lay up to five eggs a day and up to 500 days in her lifetime. The eggs normally hatch within 4 to 10 days.

  •  Theycan survive at temperatures as low as 7°C, but die when their body temperature reaches 45°C.

  •  They are not attracted to dirt and grime but  tto warmth, blood and carbon dioxide. However, clutter offers more hiding spots.

  •  There are  no studies or cases indicating that bedbugs transmit diseases between humans.

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