An article by Explorason – written in Kenya, Africa
Africa is NOT for the faint-hearted!
There are many BIG and horrible bugs in Africa.
But today I’m going to narrow it down to the “Top 5 Worst Bugs of Africa”.
What else is there to say; let’s get straight into the list.
Ants are not necessarily limited to Africa. But I’m going to put them on this list anyway.
Ants are horrible. They climb into your cupboards and get into your food. If you leave crumbs around or anything sticky, they will find a way in, and you wake up to a moving bench – crawling with ANTS.
Little tiny sugar ants, to big biting ants, Africa has ants everywhere. We stayed at a place in Kenya recently and each night huge brown almost see-through ants came in by the hundreds under the front door. We looked like we were doing a Maasai dance as we jumped around the floor, stomping them out. They would climb the mosquito net and get in the bed. It was horrible.
This time we have sugar ant attacks and they find their way in from a cut tile near the kitchen tap and march in by the hundreds. Luckily, we have caught them in our apartment where we are staying before they can do anything.
These tiny critters may not seem that menacing to the normal person. But these tiny pests move really fast. Soooooo fast that a lot of the time you can’t even notice them around you. And even if you spot one, they go hiding in a mix of colors so you can’t see them. They love to disguise themselves on a dark surface and wait to get you – especially when you are sleeping.
Sometimes you hear the buzz in your ear at night of an attacker that has found his way under my mosquito net, but as soon as I turn on the light they go into hiding. I lay there waiting for the next buzz or pull the sheet over my head.
Worst of all, mosquitoes drain your blood and feed it to their babies. And the mark that they leave behind, is an itchy lump, that if you scratch (which you can’t help but do) can turn into a sore or a scar.
Mosquitoes also carry a lot of diseases – such as Malaria and Ebola.
We use Neem soap which is a good natural mosquito repellant to assist with the pesky mozzies, but it is weird that African houses usually do not have insect screens, or flyscreen front doors like we have back in Australia.
Flies are extremely annoying in Africa.
Because of flies and mosquitos, we can’t open any windows and have any fresh air in our rented apartment. So now our ‘home’ is extremely stuffy and has no air in it.
Flies will randomly jump onto your skin and in your ear, because of our body temperature, and how they like the heat.
Not only do they jump onto your skin, they go and jump on to goat poo in the paddock nearby, then they fly in and land on any particles of food. Yuk!
There are horse flies, and Tse flies. Big or small, flies are annoying.
And the fun’s not over yet. Some say the wings give you a slap. Some flies also like to bite your skin, leaving a mark/scab.
2: Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are all over the world. But they are most commonly known to be in Asia, South and Central American, and of course AFRICA!
**Bed bugs are a pain in the butt to deal with.**
You can pick them up about anywhere. In chairs, in pillows, in clothing drawers and of course, IN BEDS!
And you can’t get rid of bed bugs easily. They go into your bed or clothes and they STAY in there. The only way to get rid of them is to throw all of your clothes and household possessions away or fumigate. They hide in dark places. Inside the seams of mattresses and can lay quietly awaiting their next victim for months and months.
Bedbugs are a lot like mosquitoes, they drain your blood and leave you with an itching lumpy bite. EXCEPT bed bugs only bite in rows and also in clusters of 3-6 bites.
Thankfully, we have NOT had bed bugs in Africa and we hope we never do, but we know it is a huge issue. Good hotels and resorts will fumigate ever three to six months.
We ALWAYS check the mattress hidden round ridge edges any time we enter a property – even a five-star one to check for bedbugs because bugs don’t care if you are rich or poor or anything in between.
1: Gigantic Millipedes
What’s that? You have a little millipede in your house. How cute.
Here in Africa, we have 15-inch millipedes!
These horrible giant millipedes are commonly known as the ‘Mombasa Express’.
Do they have anything to do with Mombasa??
But what I do know is that the ‘Mombasa Express’ takes number one on this list, because of how big and creepy they are.
These things are everywhere in Kenya. In Trees (we saw one wrapped around a branch that looked like a baby snake – HUGE; under or on your chairs; in your house – they creep in under the door gaps; basically everywhere!
Not only are they everywhere, when they get scared, they emit an acid that can burn and make your skin itchy for weeks and weeks.
So that concludes my list of the “Top 5 Worst Bugs Of Africa”.
I hope you enjoyed this article.
I know there are a lot of other bugs, but this is my list for today.
Questions to our readers:
- Have you ever been to Africa? What bugs did you hate the most?
- What is the biggest bug you have ever seen?
- Tell us in the comments below – we’d love to know.
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What is World-schooling?
This is an article by 12-year-old Explorason – written in Kenya, Africa where we educate via a method called world-schooling. It is a bit like home-schooling but it allows the learner free reign to explore and learn at their own pace, encompassing their current surroundings, in their own time, and with their own interests.
Right now he is interested in bugs. We have also studied the local monkeys, and Explorason spends his days following his passions which include graphic design, video and YouTube creation and editing, music remixes, young entrepreneur business establishment, photography, and much more. You can listen to his music here on Soundcloud.