A Travellerspoint blog

Killing Me Softly

I Need A Strong Household Insecticide

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View Journey 2013 on Quah Khian Hu's travel map.


They are killing me softly with their scores of attack. One word to describe – frustration.

It gives me a scare browbeat. An attempt after another, a non-stop attack. At the battle frontline, I take turn to defeat them one by one. Sometimes, they cheated, they ambushed me and I caught off guard. I remained solo to counter attack them.

For me, the most crucial aspect of energy charge for our body when we travel backpack is not eating order. It is a good sleep. To keep our body alert, fresh and energized, we need a proper sleep at night. A quality sleep is inevitable. A quality sleep may not need to be long hours, but at least we are able to release our tensed brows down and let go of tiredness by going into a deep sleep. How do I sleep deeply when these parasitic arthropod creatures are hopping around merrily and jollying a wild party in the bed?

When the light is off, I feel some crawling sensations moving over my body when these nocturnal parasites jolted out jovially from the husk fibre. They outwardly showed us they are a ruthless blood suckers but at least they still have some compassion to anaesthetize us before they poked us with their tube. All they await for is a feast – a guzzle eat-all-you-can.

Of all constraints when I travel abroad, I feel dreadfully irritated when there is a bed bug attack. Whether there are bed bugs nestled in the room, you may need to ask yourself how willing of you to spend the stash of cash you keep in your wallet. If you pay more for a bed, you are having a lesser chance to get an attack. When you pay lesser, you may have a 50% chance to escape a miserable attack. Worse if you dig a peanut from your wallet, you may still get a bed, but likely a heavily infested one.

Living in this village of Tiruvannamalai leaves me with a limited choice for accommodation. Paying only a meagre USD4 per day for a room, I have no dare to condemn the house owner for the quality of room I was given by them. It’s about the level of toleration after all. But, if you are a bigger spender, a higher end tower, the Ramana Tower is available in this little town readily to cater to you a reasonable comfort for your pilgrimage tour.

Tell you an experience.

The last time I had a hideous attack by bed bugs was when I was backpacking in Cairo. Room appeared to be clean. Bed looked ordinary, at least seeing from my naked eyes. But, you can’t pre judge a hygienically maintained bed with an infested one unless you test sleep on it. If you have red itchy bumps swelling over your neck and arms the next morning, certainly the bed you slept on is infested. And likely other beds in the dormitory are also infested with the colony of ticks. There is no need to switch bed within the same dormitory hoping to escape from the nocturnal parasites. That was an experience.

That lodge, situated in the city centre of Cairo, which I had stayed for some time, was heavily infested by bed bugs. One night, came two middle-aged Japanese men to the lodge. They requested for a dormitory and soon they settled down their haversacks in the dorm. They shared a same dorm with me and so with the rest of others. It was a huge dormitory of 8 beds.

Through the midnight, I woke up as I was disturbed by an irritating bed shrilling noise and screeching sound made by the Japanese man. He sat right up on the bed with his head down very much appalled and doing his scratching over his necks and arms and over his whole body. Then, he lighted several mosquito coils, he thought there was too much a nightmare of mosquitoes’ attack. Soon, the entire room was chocked up by the thick smoke caused by the burning of the mosquito coils.

Came next morning, we knew this Japanese man had had a completely sleepless night. That was obviously a show on his face. All he thought was he had a mosquito attack like anyone in the dorm had. On the second night, the same thing repeated. Afterwards, when he realized that the infestation wasn’t a cause by the mosquitoes, instead a wild bed bug jolly party, he threw a disbelieving outburst to the Egyptian manager of the lodge. I could understand why he had such an excessive burst of repulsion. In Japan or any developed countries of a more affluent community, bed bug infested room is an out-of-order commodity. There is no such an item in the menu list.

The Egyptian manager perceived the Japanese man’s condemnation was a fuss created over little matter. Bed bug problem was not anything uncommon to the lodge.

What did the Japanese man do next?

Hearing the reproach discredits made by the Egyptian manager, the Japanese man held no ponder for his emotion anymore but turned it beyond repair. The Japanese man in an exasperate stride went into the dormitory, pulled away the bed sheet and with force, drew the bed off the bedstead. Then he dragged the bed out of the dormitory and threw it to the service counter. I only heard, “No, you can’t keep this bed anymore in the room! Throw them away!”, a disgusted remark made by the Japanese man. The Japanese man hadn’t been realized that the entire room, including a great chances that all other rooms were also in fact wearily infested by bed bugs. The reason I was around, watching him throwing his dismay was that I too, a victim of the eat-all-you-can feast. Not that I had to tell him.

Do you think that the service counter would cast away the bed which was already dragged out from the dormitory by the Japanese man?

Later in the day, I saw an old chambermaid vacated everyone from the dormitory. It was believed that she was doing her routine work – to fumigate insecticide in order to disinfect the beds. A suffocating one, almost needed a CPR. Soon, all the beds were disinfected with insecticides. No one was willing to get into the beds afterwards if you agree with me that too much pudding had choked a dog.

Is that the way to repel bed bugs from the infested rooms once and for all? The answer is no. Otherwise, fumigating hazardous insecticide to disinfect the beds would not have become a routine work to the old chambermaid. Does the toxin substances of the hazardous insecticide when fumigated will cause a harm to our nervous system had we slept on those beds? I think the answer is yes, but that doesn’t kill you if you have no choice but to sleep on it.

A lesson learned:

1) Not every insect that buzzes around your ears and then bites you is a mosquito. Some bed bugs do fly. Dependent on the type or colony.

2) Watch out for the pattern of the red itchy bumps caused by the bites. Bed bug bites are developed in clusters of sequential itchy red bumps, mosquito bites do not.

3) Be watchful for the migrating syndrome. If you have been using your own sleeping bag and you realized that the bed is infested, you may need to make sure your sleeping bag had a proper wash and dried up under the sun. I bet you do not want to invite a colony of bed bugs into your room to sleep with you in your arms at home.

Let’s find out more about these bed bugs:

1) bed bug is a tiny nocturnal insect that lives by feeding on the blood of human and other warm blooded hosts.

2) adult bed bugs are reddish brown, flattened and oval. A total common misconception is that they are not visible to the naked eyes. Adult bugs grown to 4-5 mm length and do not move quickly enough to escape the notice of an attention observer.

3) bed bugs are active just before dawn, with a peak feeding period an hour before sunrise. The bugs are attracted by warm presence of Carbon Dioxide exhale by the host.

4) the bug pierces the skin of its host with 2 hollow tubes, 1 tube injects saliva which contains anaesthetics, the other withdraws the blood of the host.

5) the bites cannot be usually felt until some minutes or hours later and the red bumps and welts are often accompanied by intense itching.

6) the bumps and welts of the bites have tendency of sequential arrangement and often aligned in a cluster of 3, giving rise to colloquium of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

7) when the bugs are disturbed while eating, it will relocate half inch or so farther along the skin before resuming feeding or continue to search for blood vain.

8) the bites seem to possess all of the pre requisites for passing diseases from one host to another but there had been no reported cases this far.

I met several students coming from Malaysia who are now still studying in Cairo. They had been living in elsewhere Cairo for 5 years. They hinted out to me, to be more watchful next time and being a little more selective in picking beds when I am in Cairo. “Bed bugs infestation is an inherent outbreak here,” saying them with a wide chuckle, I know they know something that I do not know. They declined to let me know what they know. That was the reason they cheekily chuckled away.

Posted by Quah Khian Hu 02:16 Archived in India

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You must be an expert on bed bugs now..lolz..

by khoon

I was about to say what Khoon just did ^^

by Kitty Nimit


by 玉珠

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