Bedbugs cause nuisance to villagers and students

HUMAN settlements, including two hostels for girls at Kirando High School along the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Nkasi District, Rukwa, have been infested with bedbugs, hence causing nuisance to inhabitants.

Strangely enough they are said to have been surviving even after being sprayed by insecticide.

Equally also bats have invaded houses and two hostels at the school believed to have been spreading bedbugs.

Kirando Secondary School is a public school accommodating 114 girls, who are in A-Level and are only in two hostels, while O-Level is co-education, whose 1,306 students live outside the school.

Medical literature has it that bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed.

After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish colour.

Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust over a lifetime.

Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding.

Under favourable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year. Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.

School Head Erineo Mgina admitted the presence of bedbugs in girls hostels, which cause great discomfort to them as they are forced to stay in classrooms studying the whole night.

He said fumigation was costly that the school needed 1,370,000/- for such service.

“We have sprayed the hostels with success to the extent that friends of mine advise me to apply aircraft fuel, but I could not get it… I went to Sumbawanga Town and I was told to fumigate the

school premises would cost 1,370,000/-, but the school did not have such amount of money. In fact, we could not afford it,” added the school head.

A cross-section of students interviewed, who preferred anonymity, called upon the relevant authority to intervene and address the situation that if remained unchecked they would likely perform poorly in their studies and national examinations.

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Author: PETI SIYAME in Nkasi

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