Tujipange KE Photos

MOVING INTO a new house can be a daunting task to anyone, especially when you are starting life anew. New furniture is expensive soon after paying two months’ rent and advance security deposit, hired a U-Haul or van, paid friends or movers to assist, transferred electricity (PECO), gas (PGW) bills at a high fee and packed several days till your back feels like an untrained wrestler. The furniture business idea then comes into play.

You may have just moved to America, started a new job after college, lost your job or house and must start all over. Cheap is not always cheap. Cheap can be expensive, more so for those who prefer picking up beautiful looking furniture from the streets on trash day to buying their own stuff. Or perhaps you have this great dream to ship some street -furniture across the sea to the port of Mombasa and make some money back home. It’s called investment. It’s not a bad idea. America is a land of dreams and opportunities and as long as you use your head and a bit of creative entrepreneurship skills, all will be fine.

In America people throw away things they no longer want or need.  Can you remember any time back home when anyone threw away a used mattress, bed, blankets, clothes, sofa-sets or dining table? Chineke! That simply does not happen back home.

But here it is the norm rather than the exception. Some people throw away working television sets, printer, radios and computers, couches, armchairs, beds, baby cots, mattresses, bedding, winter coats, coffee makers, beautiful rugs, grills, pots and pans and lots of food. When they get tired of old stuff they throw it away. They do not have poor relatives to hand down furniture to. That is why it is so enticing to pick up the furniture and put it in our house.

Hey, wait a minute! All that glitters is not gold. Some of those great looking seats and mattresses have got bedbugs in them.

American bedbugs are fat, aggressive and healthy.

Be very careful because these American bedbugs are fat, aggressive and healthy and they are used to sucking lots of blood and feeding and laying eggs on dead skin. You do not want them anywhere near your house or inside your loins. Even if you have insurance, these bugs will leave your face, arms and legs with ugly red rashes and you will be scratching yourself as if you have scabies. They will nestle in every hair you have including armpits, pubic hair and god knows where.

One Diaspora woman, Patti, told Tujipange KE that when she arrived in the US as a refugee three months ago, she was given a house under a new program. The house had no furniture but she was given $300 in allowance to get herself some furniture.  On her way to buy the furniture she saw her neighbor throwing away new armchairs and a brand-new mattress.

Hallelujah, I thought the Lord had favored me! I called my children and we carried the furniture to our house. We were happy to save $300 dollars,” she says. The same night, her whole family was under siege.  Bedbugs were laying eggs like pregnant omena in the Lake. Their clothes, bedding, faces, hair, head, arms and legs were all infested. She and her children could not spend the night in the house. They sat out in the staircase all night as they waited for the bedbugs to hide in daylight.

“I was in a refugee camp for ten years in Africa but I never saw bedbugs. Did I know that I would come to America to suffer like this? I’d rather go back to the refugee camp than go through such torture,” she lamented. She told Tujipange KE that when she asked about an exterminator, the price was over $900 dollars. “I cried. Where could I get such money?” She ended up spending more on bedbug extermination than the $300 she had intended to save.

African diaspora individuals who have fallen prey to these trashy furniture should prioritize their dreams and these dreams should not include picking mattresses, beds, chairs and other furniture that are infested with bedbugs. Jipange, tafadhali and save for your own. Jipange!

Do not allow bedbugs to turn you into their own personal blood investment bank.


However, if you are already caught up in the trash trap and you are bedbug infested, here are a few tips on how to get rid of these beats:

Vacuum cleaning dark corners of the house helps the bedbugs come out of their hiding corners. You will hear them sizzling and toasting in the hot vacuum air. The smell is unpleasant but worth it. If you pick the furniture and plan to ship it to Africa, vacuuming can help. It is probable that the bedbugs may not survive the high seas due to harsh weather conditions, but the resilience of these creatures are said to be amazing. You surely do not want to be sending bedbugs home instead of furniture.

One thing that traps and kills bedbugs is the sticky traps. They have them at home depot. Cut them in strips about an inch and put them around your bed post and when they try to get on or off the bed, they will stick to the strip. Those who have tried this say it works. The straps cost about $3 or$4. It is worth it, just make sure the sticky circles the bed post and the sticky part is on the outside on the floor.

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a white powder that can be dusted in your carpet, along the walls and corners of your house.  Bedbugs die when they walk in it. DE kills the bugs because DE has sharp surfaces which puncture the Bugs bodies and kills them but it takes days to kill them. It might be a good ideal to lay a 1/16 of an inch layer of DE in the bottom of the dish. When the bugs fall in the bowl, they will either die of the Carbon monoxide poisoning, or the DE.

If you have got asthma and thinking of these dust mites, and bed bugs living in your pillow by the millions, eating your dead skin and hair, a mattress protector is highly commendable.

We will need to discuss what will need to be done in the house immediately after extermination to prevent a return of the bedbugs (washing and drying everything in high heat for at least 30 mins, vacuuming bead seams, enclosing mattress in a special case).  So before you invite bedbugs to have you for dinner, hand off  furniture on trash day, please! Jipange!


Tujipange African Media