Most Kenyans have never seen a bed bug, and until recently, most have never had a problem with bed bugs.
Here are the top ten bed bug facts you should know about:
- Bed bugs, known scientifically as Cimex lectularius (Cimicidae) are small wingless insects that feed by hematophagy – exclusively on the blood of warm blooded-animals.
- As we are warm-blooded animals, we are ideal hosts for bed bugs.
- They are called bed bugs because of their preferred habitat in human homes: sofas, bed mattresses and other soft furnishings.
- Most bed bugs feed on their hosts while they are asleep. The host supplies them with blood in a painless way, never knowing it is happening.
- The most active time for a bed bug is about one hour before sunrise – the peak time for feeding.
- Feeding takes about five minutes, after which the bug returns to its hiding place.
- A female bed bug lays approximately 5 eggs in one day and about 500 during her lifetime.
- Bites can sometimes take up to nine days to become visible. Unlike flea bites, bed bug bites do not usually have a red dot in the center.
- Bed bugs, like fleas, tend to bite in rows. There are likely to be two or three bites all in a row.
- Since they can hide in so many places, they are not easy to eradicate. Unless you have a lot of time at your disposal, and limitless patience, it is advisable to get a professional in pest control.