Panic in Embu as bedbugs overrun Dallas estate


Panic in Embu as bedbugs overrun Dallas estate
Bedbugs are about the size of an apple seed. They feed on blood but are not known to transmit diseases. PHOTO | CNN

In Summary

  • Meanwhile, many miles away from Embu, the French government has launched an anti-bedbug campaign which includes a dedicated website and an information hotline.
  • Such is the scale of Paris' bedbug problem that former mayoral candidate Benjamin Griveaux had promised to rid the city of the insects in his first 100 days in office.
  • The insects became a huge problem in New York around 2010, affecting apartments, shops, schools and hospitals. City officials also launched a campaign to fight the pests.

Residents of Dallas estate residents in Embu town are crying for help in the wake of what they term as bedbugs invasion that has made their lives a nightmare.

The insects are said to have invaded the area and even the neighboring estate has residents complaining of sleepless nights particularly for children.

One of them, Sara Njeri, lamented over how the insects suck blood with reckless abandon.

Another resident, Mary Muthoni, said: “All that we do every night is to scratch ourselves and try to kill the small bugs.”

Muthoni says that the situation is so bad that the she has been forced to tear apart her seats and cushions in a bid to locate their hiding place but to no avail.

Her neighbor Mama Mwangi even disposed off her furniture hoping to end the nightmare.

“I tried every available method to repel the insects. I boiled water and broke apart my furniture too,” she said.

She added that they have been spending so much money on insecticides but the menace persists.

Residents says due to proximity of the houses in the estate, it has become hard to eliminate the bugs as they spread from house to house very easily.

They are appealing to the county health department to come to their rescue.

France launches bedbug hotline in campaign to stamp out itchy menace

Meanwhile, many miles away from Embu, the French government has launched an anti-bedbug campaign which includes a dedicated website and an information hotline.

“We can all be affected,” reads the website, which provides information on “strict measures” to prevent the spread of the small, flattened insects, which are about the same size as an apple seed.

Bedrooms and living rooms with sofas are at particular risk, and the insects prefer to live in dark areas, the website continues.

The parasites — whose scientific name is Cimex lectularius — feed on human blood and each one can bite up to 90 times in a single night, leaving sores similar to mosquito bites.

Recommended measures to prevent infestations include washing second-hand clothes at 60 degrees Celsius or higher before wearing them, and cleaning used furniture with dry heat before taking it home.

International travel and increasing resistance to insecticides are to blame for the critters’ resurgence, according to the website.

Hotel guests are advised to store their luggage on racks rather than on the floor, and check the bed, mattress and other dark areas before using them.

Upon returning home, travelers should check for bedbugs inside suitcases and vacuum their luggage before throwing the vacuum bag away.

Officials also advise washing clothes in hot water, or heating non-washable items in a tumble dryer.

Such is the scale of Paris’ bedbug problem that former mayoral candidate Benjamin Griveaux had promised to rid the city of the insects in his first 100 days in office, according to the AFP news agency.

However, Griveaux was forced to pull out of the race following the publication of a sexually explicit video he allegedly sent to his mistress.

The insects became a huge problem in New York around 2010, affecting apartments, shops, schools and hospitals. City officials also launched a campaign to fight the pests.

Additional report from CNN

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Story By Anthony Ndwiga
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