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How To Control Kissing bugs

Kissing bugs may sound like a cute name for an insect, but these insects are anything but cute. In fact these bugs can be downright dangerous if you are not careful. Kissing bugs may be beneficial to landowners and gardeners because the bug is known to prey on plant-eating pests like aphids and mealybugs. However these bugs have a large appetite for blood, and this can become an issue especially if they seek out your home and venture inside.

Kissing bugs have become much more common in recent years there have been increased amounts of complaints about this pest making their presence felt on people’s yards to satisfy their need for blood. Kissing bugs usually first take interest in a home by being attracted to light coming from our homes and once inside they’ll find a cool, dark place to hide in the daytime and then come out at night in search for fresh blood. These insects have even been known to hide between mattresses, waiting for just the right time to attack.

If you have a kissing bug problem in or around your home, it should become a major priority of yours to take action to get rid of them. Here are Solutions Pest and Lawn we can equip you with the right bug-killing products and expert know-how so you can get rid of those kissing bugs and make them regret targeting your house.

Browse our recommended kissing bug control products below and if you have any questions or concerns about your order or you need advice on control from a live expert, feel free to contact us via live chat, phone or email.

How to Get Rid of Kissing bugs: Solutions 4 Step Process

When it comes to keeping kissing bugs from sneaking into your home and harming you or your family, we recommend a solution when involves exclusion and chemical treatments via insecticides. Whether you have a small outbreak of Kissing bugs or are dealing with a sizable infestation in or around your home, we recommend a simple to execute 4-step solution:

Step 1:  Identification - The more you know about the pest, the better equipped you are to defeat them which is why it is so important to first correctly identify whether or not the bug infestation you are encountering is actually a kissing bug. The kissing bug can often be confused with a less harmful insect known as the boxelder bug. Different insects often require different treatment methods and different herbicides for control. Something which may successfully kill one insect might not kill the kissing bug so confirmation of the insect is crucial in taking the proceeding steps.


Kissing bugs аrе uѕuаllу brоwn or black wіth rеd оr оrаngе ѕроtѕ оn thеіr ѕіdеѕ аnd саn арреаr rеd frоm а dіѕtаnсе. They have a pear-shaped body often comparable to a sunflower seed and often have distinct, reddish- to cream-colored stripes visible along the edges of the abdomen What can differentiate the kissing bug from the very similar looking boxelder bug is by observing closely a few distinguishing traits. For instance, the kissing bug has very prominent piercing mouthparts while the boxelder bug doesn't. Boxelder bugs are smaller than most kissing bugs and have red eyes and markings on the wing.  Another big sign if the presence of bands around margin of the abdomen. Boxelders don't have these bands.


If you are having trouble getting a proper ID of this pest, no worries. Just take a picture of the pest and send it to our email at identification@solutionsstores.com and we will respond back to you with the correct insect ID as well as offer you treatment options and product recommendations to control them yourself.

 

Step 2: Inspection - Once you are certain that you are dealing with Kissing bugs, it's time to inspect in and around the home to find out where they are hiding out. Kissing bugѕ normally lіvе іn grоuрѕ аnd lіkе tо ѕtау оut оf ѕіght durіng thе dау. Outdoors, thеу’ll сrаwl undеr rосkѕ аnd mulсh аnd lау іn hіdіng whеn thе ѕun іѕ оut. 

 
Kissing bugs may be seen out in the open in particular at night because they are drawn tо роrсh lіghtѕ аnd mаnу tіmеѕ wіll nеѕt оn a hоmеѕ siding. Onсе thіѕ nesting takes place іt’ѕ not a surprise that a home can become infested with these pests.
 


Step 3:  Control - To control kissing bugs in your yard, we recommend a combination of granule treatment with liquid insecticides. Lay out some 
Bifen LP Granules around the exterior of your home as well as your lawn and garden. Also, spray an insecticide around the area such as Reclaim IT Insecticide. Apply treatment once a month for two months and these products should eliminate them and keep them away from your property. Reclaim IT is our recommended broad-spectrum insecticide and can also work as an exterior treatment around the perimeter of your home to act as a barrier to keep kissing bugs out.


If Kissing bugs have made their way inside your home, spray them with an aerosol spray such as 
Fipro Foaming Aerosol. You can either use the spray to kill them directly or apply to cracks and crevices in rooms where you suspect they are residing in if you cannot find them.

 

Step 4: Prevention - If you're able to be successful in ridding the pest control problem, you need to take measures to make sure kissing bugs don't make a comeback. The most important step in keeping kissing bugs out of your home requires sealing up the home against pests and securing your perimeter. 


Begin by sealing up any cracks or crevices with Black Out Pest Control Foam to keep them from entering the home. Examine the perimeter of your home and clear up any leaves Clear the perimeter around your home of leaves or any sort of debris and make sure you don't have any gaps underneath your exterior doors.


Kissing bugs are also very attracted to light so do what you can to limit lights outside your home at night such as swapping out regular incandescent light bulbs for yellow bug safe light bulbs. Putting screens on windows and doors should also be an important measure to put into place.

 

It’s as simple as that! By following these steps, you and your family and pets will be protected from the threat of kissing bugs.

 

Learn More About Kissing Bugskissing bug on skin

Kissing bugs are also known as Assassin bugs and the reason they were given such a name is because of their tendency to bite victims (especially humans) when they are sleeping around the lips or eyes. What’s even worse about these biters is that if they do happen to bite you, they have the potential of spreading a parasite to the body which can bring about Chaga's disease, which can shut down organs, cause heart failure and even be fatal. The disease kills 20,000 people a year and is a major problem in Mexico but in recent years due to more kissing bug activity in the States, it has spread here.


Kissing bugs are regarded as a particularly nasty bug because they tend to bite their human victims on their lips or around their eyes, usually while they are asleep, which is definitely a creepy habit and is the reason they are known as kissing bugs. 

 

How Do Kissing Bugs Get Into Our Homes?

It can be frightening to know that kissing bugs can attack us in our sleep, bite on our lips and hide away without us even knowing it. So how does this sneaky night biter do it? Being a small insect may have something to do with it because they are able to slip through the tiniest openings in your home, using it as an entrance.

They can get into crawl spaces, exposed cracks and crevices, gaps in patio doors and windows and any other small void that they can use to gain access to the indoors. This is why exclusion is such an important part of kissing bug control.

 

What Do Kissing Bugs Like To Eat?

Kissing bugs are known to start craving blood as soon as the sun starts to go down and are commonly found actively seeking their next meal during this time. Aside from humans, kissing bugs also like to feed off the blood of the following animals:

 

While they are not out looking for dinner, kissing bugs can hide in places that are either sheltered or near their primary source of food such as under rocks, bricks, broken tiles, cement blocks, piles of leaves and other garden leaf litter.

 

Inside houses, kissing bugs have been reported to be found especially under mattresses, garden sheds, inside cracks and holes and other occupied structures, inside dog kennels, chicken pens, rodent nests, and other animal living areas.

 

 

chagas diseaseKissing Bugs and the Threat of Chagas Disease

Kissing bugs and Chaga's disease infections often go hand in hand and has become a subject of serious concern as the number of kissing bug reports have increased in the United States. However, it's not the saliva or the blood that contains the disease like other insect disease transmissions. The disease is actually spread via the feces and you will only catch it if the excrement that has the disease is placed near and open wound such as a recent cut or graze. The disease can be dropped into your eye and it can also be rubbed in with your fingers or swallowed.


In other words, the kissing bug bites you, and to add insult to injury, poops on you and leaves and their poop can give you a terrible disease. Talk about a nightmare from Hades right?

 

Symptoms of Chaga's disease include but are not limited to diarrhea (does depend on the person), adverse skin reactions such as rashes, hives, itching, swelling of glands, nausea, fainting, and shortness of breath.

There are also symptoms which are not immediate but will manifest after some time has passed include inflammation of the heart and kidneys. This means that you could be affected for decades by the effects of Chaga's disease without even knowing it unless you get tested. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, even if it is not from Chaga's disease, we recommend contacting a doctor immediately. 

 

It is estimated that over 12,000 people die from Chaga's disease annually. If you have suffered from a kissing bug bite and you have confirmation that it's not from another insect such as a bed bug or similar, there are a few things you can do to reduce the pain and inflammation and reduce a chance of infection before seeking medical attention:

  • Place an ice pack or any cold pack on the affected region to reduce swelling
  • Use an anti-bacterial soap and wash the bite area with warm water
  • Reduce itchiness by using medicated creams.
  • Resist the urge to scratch as this can leave scarring and can actually increase the chances of a bacterial infection.


kissing bugs in homeWhat To Do During Kissing Bug Season

In the springtime, kissing bugs are the most active and will continue to be active until around August or so. There objective is quite simple: enjoy a blood meal, find a mate and lay their eggs. What we recommend any homeowner to do is exclusion measures. Seal up your homes as much as possible, eliminating points of entry that kissing bugs could potentially use to get into your house and bite you in your sleep.

 

Our top recommendation for this is Black Out Pest Control Foam but you can also use caulk and go around your house sealing up as many holes, cracks and crevices as you can find.

 

 

 

 

 

KISSING BUGS: COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

What are Kissing Bugs Attracted To?

Lights, Animal Burrows, Proximity to Wooded Areas, and Natural Debris might attract Kissing Bugs. 

 

One of the major reasons that attract Kissing bugs into the home is lights that are left on throughout the night. Because these bugs are mainly nocturnal and attracted to lights, porch lights, and doorways that leave their lights on might attract them to come inside.

 

If your home is in close proximity to wooded and brushy areas, and the lights are left on at night, they might venture from their hiding spots to visit your home. Wood piles and brushy natural debris in your property could also attract these bugs especially if they are near animal nests.

 

Animal burrows and wildlife animal nests are also a high attractant for these bugs as they rely mainly on blood meals from a host animal to survive. Secluding as much wildlife (rodents, birds, mammals) away from your property is a good idea for Kissing bug prevention.

 

Dog houses and animal quarters (kennels, chicken coops) are also good places that these bugs will often seek. Making sure that there are no breeding populations in these areas are essential for Kissing bug control.

 

 

 

Kissing Bug

Where Do Kissing Bugs Live?

Mainly in wooded and brushy areas near animal hosts nests and burrows who they can feed on multiple times.

 

You can find Kissing bugs in 28 states in the United States, and all throughout  North, Central, and South America. In the United States they are mainly found throughout the southern states, with the highest diversity of species and numbers in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. However, they’ve also been reported in Hawaii, Pennsylvania, California, and Colorado.

 

They are mainly found in wooded areas, close to animals hosts which they feed on that can include rodents, birds, reptiles, and mammals, and even humans. They are often found in burrows and nest of wood rats, raccoons, and opossums. House infestations by these types of bugs usually occur because of their close proximity to wooded areas.

 

 

Do Kissing Bugs Fly?

Yes, they can fly for up to a mile and at night are attracted to light.

 

Yes, kissing bugs have the ability to fly, and mostly do at night. They are easily attracted to light especially at night. They can travel up to a mile when looking for a meal.

 

 

Do Kissing Bugs Bite?

Yes, they bite, humans and animals (including your pets) around the face and mouth.

 

Yes, and they usually bite around the mouth and eye areas. The young nymphs need blood meals to mature, and will usually feed on humans, rodents, mammals, and even birds. They can prove really fatal to humans when they bite them and pass the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi which they extract from animals that are already infected with the parasite.

 

 

What Diseases Does the Kissing Bug Carry?

Kissing bugs are capable of transmitting Chagas disease which if left untreated can cause serious heart and digestive problems, which can become a lifelong disease that is often life-threatening.

 

Kissing bugs are dangerous because they pass on the Chagas disease which can be life-threatening and cause serious heart and digestive problems. The parasite that causes Chagas disease is Trypanosoma cruzi, which is passed on by Kissing bugs when they bite humans, and leave their excrement near the wound, which contains the parasite, when humans unaware that they have been bitten by a kissing bug, scratch the bite and smear the excrement into the wound, they become infected with the parasite.

 

The CDC estimates that about 8 million people in South and Central America are infected with this disease, and most of the people infected are unaware that they carry the parasite.

 

If you live in the United States you should not be as worried as the cases of this disease are extremely rare and have not yet become endemic. You should still be aware however that the Texas A&M University currently estimates that human cases with Chagas Disease range from 300,000 to a 1 million, and are mostly located in the US/Mexico border.

 

 

What are the Symptoms of a Kissing Bug Bite?

Depending on whether the bite has become infected with the Chagas disease the symptoms may vary but can include swelling, raised skin lesions, hives, redness, and severe allergic reactions that may cause shortness of breath.

 

Kissing bug bites symptoms can vary but can include itching, redness, swelling of the wound (around eyes and mouth), and even anaphylactic shock (severe allergic reaction), and shortness of breath. It’s important to point out that kissing bugs with the Chagas parasite and those without it can often cause these symptoms. The symptoms described above are general symptoms that occur after a kissing bug bite.

 

Still, the symptoms of a kissing bug bite that might have become infected with the Chagas parasite are very similar and are characterized by two phases, the Acute phase and the Chronic phase. According to the Mayo clinic, In the acute phase you might experience :

 

- Swelling

- Redness

- Hitching

- Rash

- Fatigue

- Body Aches

- Headaches

- Diarrhea

- Swelling of Wound similar to an allergic reaction

 

During the Chronic phase you might experience:

- Sudden Cardiac Arrest

- Congestive Heart Failure

- Enlarged Esophagus, which will make swallowing difficult

- Enlarged Colon and abdominal pain

 

Symptoms in the Acute phase might show in a couple of weeks or months after the Kissing Bug has bitten, or they may never appear. Symptoms in the Chronic phase may take decades to take place, or may never show.

 

 

How Do You Treat a Kissing Bug Bite?

Unfortunately, it is very important that to treat your kissing bug bite you contact a health professional as soon as possible.

 

If you are sure that you have been bitten by a Kissing Bug, and are currently experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned above including a severe allergic reaction you should immediately contact a healthcare professional or visit the emergency room as soon as possible as the inflammation and swelling in at least one case has proven fatal.

 

 

Where Do Kissing Bugs Hide in The Home?

Some of the places that Kissing bugs might appear in the home include under porches, under pavement, near dog houses, near rodent nests, and animal burrows.

 

Although kissing bugs are mainly found in wooded and outdoor areas, they can sometimes travel to homes, being attracted to the light of porches and doorways. If you believe you have a Kissing Bug infestation at home, some of the places to look for these animals include:

 - Around you porch (below, above, between)

- Under cement or pavements

- Close to rocky structures

- In the natural debris, such wood piles, brush piles, in hollowed out trees

- Near animal nests and burrows (birds, rodents, raccoons)

- Near dog houses and animal quarters (chicken coops, kennels)

 

 

How Do You Identify a Kissing Bug?

Kissing bugs are typically about ¾ to 1 ¼  inch long. They are black and dark colored with an elongated head and oval-shaped body. Most of the species have red and orange marking around their bodies.

 

Kissing bugs can be identified by the orange and red marks lines that surround their bodies, there are some species that do not have markings but can be identified by the shape of their bodies. Their bodies are oval shaped and their heads are elongated, especially their mouthparts (which is how they acquired the name “cone-nose bug”), they are either dark or black colored, and some species have white marking in the middle of their bodies. They are about ¾ to 1 ¼ inch long.

 

Additional Resources On The Kissing Bug

Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease in the U.S. | Texas A&M

 

"Kissing Bugs" and Symptoms of Chagas Disease - WebMD

 

 

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