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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The unusual stoppage at Coimbatore caused by Climicidae !!!

They are perhaps part of legend – once tamil magazines would be ripe with jokes on them…  in one tingling tamil cine comedy Vadivelu would sell a machine that could kill them – many would buy instantaneously….   There are many types of  - Cimicidae – the most common amongst them being - Cimex lectularius – these are of insect family but commonly found in many households.  (don’t jump to think of cockroach !)

Once upon a time, these were found in enormity in residential houses and also in buses and trains…  I thought they have been reduced if not exterminated.  But the recent news items prove me wrong !!

It is the common bedbugs (மூட்டைப்பூச்சி) – a species that prefer to feed on human blood. The name "bed bug" is derived from the insect's preferred habitat of houses and especially beds or other areas where people sleep. Bed bugs, though not strictly nocturnal, are mainly active at night and are capable of feeding unnoticed on their hosts.   All insects in this family live by feeding exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals.   They are known by variety of names such as wall louse, mahogany flat, crimson rambler, heavy dragoon, chinche and redcoat.  They can live in any area of the home and can reside in tiny cracks in furniture as well as on textiles and upholstered furniture.


They can cause some  health effects including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms.  The Developed World claims to have exterminated them many decades ago but they are in news once in a while and experienced by some more frequently !   The exact causes of this resurgence remain unclear; it is variously ascribed to greater foreign travel, more frequent exchange of second-hand furnishings among homes, a greater focus on control of other pests resulting in neglect of bed bug countermeasures, and increasing resistance to pesticides.

The very presence of them makes some feel sick – the poisons used to kill them also contribute in a big way in making people sick !!  A Govt. study in US states that dozens of Americans have fallen ill from the insecticides, and a North Carolina woman died after using 18 cans of chemical fogger to attack the tiny blood suckers.  Such cases which are in some ways misuse of chemicals have made the Federal Health Officials warn the consumers to be careful and urging them to utilize professionals in killing these insects.  The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted 80 illnesses and one death linked to the insecticides over three years. Most of the cases were in New York City, the apparent epicenter of a recent U.S. bedbug comeback.  The data pertains to 12 states, and only seven had reports of such illnesses. One was New York, where bedbugs have become a highly publicized problem and where health officials have also been extra vigilant about reporting unusual chemical poisonings.  About 90 percent of the cases were linked to pyrethroids or pyrethrins, insecticides commonly used against bedbugs. Such products are not a health risk to most people but should still be applied by a trained exterminator,  stated the authorities.  CDC officials suggested people trying to rid their homes of bedbugs should first thoroughly vacuum all floors and furniture and wash linens.   Professional exterminators would be expensive !

Upon browsing read of an incident when Irate commuters in III tier AC coach of the Mangalore – Jammu Tawi train staged protest at the Coimbatore Junction in the small hours resulting in the train being detained at the junction from 1.10 a.m. to 3.40 a.m.  The report stated that the passengers in the coach had a sleepless night due to bed bugs.  At Coimbatore, they demanded changing of the coach and the Coimbatore Railway Junction authorities managed to source III tier AC coach of another train from the yard.  The train left Coimbatore Junction after 2 and a half hour halt.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

14th Oct 2011.

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