Insects And Bugs: Rwanda

Insects And Bugs: Rwanda

Insects and bugs?There are many different types of insects and bugs in Rwanda. However, some are dangerous and others aren’t. You should know how to keep them out of your house and get rid of insect bites.


Mosquitoes are insects or flies that live and lay eggs on standing and still water. They are not able to live with fish, dragon flies etc. instead they like to reside in swamps, marshes and puddles. They also live in tall grass, buckets, old tyres or abandoned buildings. They are slim with a pair of wings and halters. They have skinny long legs, however their size is differs by their species. Some are really small and other slightly bigger but they’re usually about 0.125 inches. They weigh approximately 0.000088 ounces and have a life span of 2 weeks to 6 months.

Are they dangerous though? At some extent they could be. There are many different species of mosquitos and some carry borne diseases to humans. Mosquitos feed on the blood of mammals, including human blood, for this is where they get iron and proteins to lay their eggs. In the process of feeding on blood, they transmit diseases such as malaria, zika, dengue virus and yellow fever. You can get infected by any of these diseases through a mosquitos saliva which will go ahead to cause itchiness, skin irritation and red bumps.

However, not all mosquitoes bite or feed on your blood. Male mosquitos are harmless and female mosquitos are the dangerous ones. So don’t rush to kill the male ones because they won’t hurt you. It’s not hard to tell the difference between them, the male ones are much smaller and buzz less.

Mosquitos can sniff body heat from miles away and the carbon dioxide we release when we breathe. The best way to get rid of mosquitos is to light candles, fans, use repellent, herbs and get rid of any still water around your home.

House Flies

There are many different types of flies but in Rwanda the most common one is the housefly. Flies can be very annoying and make everyone uncomfortable especially when they’re in groups. Not only can they be a nuisance because they live very close to humans, but they also carry diseases and that’s why they’re considered as pests.

They breed in decaying matter, filth, faeces, rotting or contaminated food. Flies spread diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid and dysentery. They are able to do this by contaminating water and food with fungi, viruses and bacteria.

Flies are usually grey or black with small hairs around their body used as taste organs. They have a pair of membranous wings and red eyes that give them a wide field of vision. They have a life span of about 2-4 weeks.

To avoid flies, you should clean regularly and make sure there is no filth or space where they can breed. It’s important to get rid of flies as soon as you notice them because they reproduce quickly and in large numbers. Flies are attracted to warmth on cooler days and vice versa. Another way to get rid of flies is by using herbs, insecticide, apple cider vinegar etc.


Spiders have around 45,000 species of spiders. They are able to live and survive everywhere in the world including deserts, rainforests and under water for some species. However Antarctica is the only continent they can’t live in because it’s way too cold. Spiders are usually poisonous and dangerous.

House spiders are the most common spiders, they’re harmless but might bite though if they feel threatened and can’t find an escape. They move very fast but have no wings so they can’t fly. They hide and stay indoors and never go outside. They are black or brown with 8 legs

House spiders can be a nuisance because they have webs all around to help them move around. House spiders aren’t that bad though, sometimes having them around isn’t a bad thing because they help kill pests such as cockroaches, flies, ants etc.

You can get rid of spiders by cleaning up food, crumbs etc. Spiders do not like vinegar so spray windows, doors, dark corners with a mixture of vinegar and water.


Humans have been doing bee keeping for centuries since ancient Greece and Egypt. A bee is flying insect that produces honey and has over 16,000 species. Bees have small hairy bodies, 6 legs, large eyes, antennae, thorax, stinger and an abdomen. They have a lifespan of 5- 6 weeks.

Bees like living in tropical climates, around flowers, orchards, gardens etc. Bees sting humans and animals and they die when they do. The stinger is attached to their abdomen so when they sting it kills them. Your probably wondering why they would sting then? Bees sting when they feel someone is a threat to them and wants to either harm them or take their honey. A sting from a bee can be really painful and result to medical help. You can use an Icepack to reduce the swelling from a bee sting.

You can get rid of bees with a mixture of soap and water, a mixture of vinegar and water or insecticide.


Ants have around 12,000 species. They are either red or black, with a thorax, antennae, 6 legs with 3 joints and are about an inch.

Ants live everywhere and anywhere in the world. They can live underground, in plants, in wood etc. Here is why ants are attracted to entering and living in your house; they’re always on the hunt for water and food so your kitchen will attract them the most. Apart from water and food, ants also follow crumbs, leftover food etc.

To get rid of ants you use a mixture of vinegar and water, water and dish soap, baking soda, lemons or cucumbers. Ants can’t stand any of these stuff, they won’t go near them and if they do it kills them.


With over 3500 different cockroach species, only few have adapted to living in homes and buildings close to humans. They are a nuisance and have become pests to people because of their horrible smell and filthy habits.

Cockroaches are about 2 inches long, with 6 legs, 2 antennae and have adapted to living in all climates. Some cockroaches have wings, larger in tropical climates and smaller in cold ones. They are black or brown and move very fast.

They are attracted to garbage, dirty dishes, leftovers and crumbs of food. Cockroaches enter the house through holes, drains, sewage so cover all holes in which they can pass through.  Use herbal soaps and boric acid and they will definitely stay away.


There is over 11,000 grasshopper species worldwide except for Antarctica. They prefer living in green lands and grassy area. Grasshoppers are able to live on for years as long as it is warm enough for them.

Grasshoppers are about 2 inches long, 2 sets of wings, with 6 joint legs and large hind legs that gives them jumping power. They’re brown, green and some black. They are not harmful, they only bite when they sense trouble or danger. Grasshopper do not transmit any diseases to people. However they do spread bacteria to livestock and crops.

They feed on grass, weeds and vegetables. Some people eat grasshoppers, apparently they have proteins and are very delicious. They are safe to eat but make sure you cook them first to get rid of any bacteria. If you see a grasshopper anywhere don’t kill it for it will not harm or transmit any disease to you.

How to protect yourself from Insect bites

There is a variety of ways in which we can protect ourselves from insect bites. Preventing yourself from;

  • Bed nets
  • Repellent
  • Light coloured clothes
  • Wear shoes at all times
  • Do not use scented shampoo, soaps or perfumes
  • Cover your food and drinks.
  • Insecticide
  • Clean your home and sanitize well

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