Kissing Bugs: What Are They And What Should You Know About Them?


If you experience mysterious bites on your face during the night, you may think that you have bed bugs in your home. Although bed bugs can leave behind nasty bites, there's another pest that can attack you in your sleep. It's called the kissing bug. In recent months, experts warn residents in the United States to look out for kissing bugs. The pests carry a host of diseases, including Chagas disease, a dangerous parasite that infects your digestive system and heart. Here's more information about kissing bugs and tips to keep your family and home safe from them.

What Do Kissing Bugs Look Like and Are They Dangerous?

Although kissing bugs originally come from Central America and Mexico, you can now find them in the southern states of America, including Arizona, Georgia and Texas. Kissing bugs range in colors of brown and black and have beige, orange, red, or yellow stripes on the sides. The bugs' completely flat bodies make it easy for them to hide in tight places, such as between your mattresses and frames. The pests also have triangular-shaped midsections and long, stick-like heads that resemble the heads of praying mantis. 

There are 11 species of kissing bugs known today. Each one has the potential to pass the deadly Chagas parasite to humans and animals through their feces, which can enter your body through your eyes, mouth and nose when you accidentally touch these body areas with contaminated hands. Chagas disease can present symptoms right away, or they can show up 10 to 20 years later and cause your heart and digestive systems to fail. 

If kissing bugs do bite you, and you experience swelling, rashes or pain in your skin, seek medical care right away. To treat Chagas disease successfully, you must begin anti-parasitic medications as soon as possible to avoid complications with your heart and intestines. 

One of the best ways to avoid kissing bugs in the first place is to secure your home and call an exterminator for assistance.

How Do You Keep Kissing Bugs Out of Your Home?

Kissing bugs can hide on your property undetected until they decide to invade your home. The most common locations to find kissing bugs are beneath back porches, piles of wood, broken cement, and dog houses. If you have any of these things on your property, take steps to repair or remove them. It's a good idea that you seal and repair any openings, cracks and damaged foundations, windowsills, doors, and flooring in your home. These protective measures can keep kissing bugs out of your home.

It's important to know that your dogs are at risk for Chagas disease if the pests invade their dog houses and bite them. Animals can develop and exhibit the same symptoms as humans, so it's a good idea that you keep your pet indoors for safety. If you choose to keep your pets outdoors, clean and sanitize their dog houses on a regular basis to prevent an infestation of kissing bugs. Replace old pet blankets with new coverings often. The bugs can attach to the fibers of the blankets and bite your pets during the night.

Finally, contact pest control to inspect and treat your home and property with the proper chemical sprays. It's not a good idea that you use traditional bug sprays, powders and traps to kill kissing bugs on your own. These types of treatments may not work on kissing bugs because the pests aren't native to the United States. 

For more information about kissing bugs or Chagas disease, contact a pest control company in your area today, such as A-Alert Exterminating Service Inc.


25 November 2015

Making My New Home Safe

After marrying my sweet husband ten years ago, I moved into a fixer-upper. I immediately started making a list of remodeling projects I wold need to complete before the house would be comfortable to live in. For instance, I had to rip out the old linoleum flooring in the kitchen, mud room, and bathrooms. I also had to buy a complete set of new furniture. Only a few days after moving into this house, I also discovered my need to contact a reputable pest control specialist. The house contained huge, disgusting roaches. After a local pest control technician visiting my house, my home was free of potentially health damaging roaches. On this blog, you will discover the latest trends in the pest control industry for successfully removing roaches from a home.