Are you trying to find the best ways of how to get rid of kissing bugs? These insects are indeed annoying and irritating. They can be found anywhere and their bite is itchy yet burning at the same time. Furthermore, check out the information below to find out more about kissing bugs and how to handle them.
What Are Kissing Bugs & How To Get Rid Of Kissing Bugs?
Before exterminating them with some methods of how to get rid of kissing bugs, it is better to find out about what they really are first. Kissing bugs are categorized as a member of Triatominae and basically, they are pests that invade your house. Yet, these insects are unlike the other invading insects like roaches or ants. Seems like, they are more like mosquitoes. Why is it? Well, it is due to their diet of blood.
Kissing bugs suck on mammals’ blood like rats, squirrels, dogs, cats, and even human. The name Kissing bugs came from their habit of biting and sucking blood in mouth or eyes area. Even so, you won’t feel anything while they bite you. What you will feel is the itchy and swelling skin afterwards. The swelling is quite big unlike mosquito bites. This is why methods of how to get rid of kissing bugs are needed.
Many studies say that these insects have no wings. Yet, the adult ones have it. Even so, they are rather crawling than flying. There are 11 species of kissing bugs that crawling around, yet there are only 3 of these 11 species that will crawl into your nightmare. The first one is Triatoma sanguisuga. This species has size of 15mm up to 23mm. It has dark brown body with red or orange stripes on the body. The second one is Triatoma protracta which is the smallest among the others. Its size is only 12mm up to 20mm each. It has brown body with no stripes, yet there is a pair of yellow color on the edges of its body.
Finally, the third one is Triatoma gerstaeckeri. This species is the largest among the three and has size of 20mm up to 30mm. Therefore, the shape of the body is almost the same as the other species; dark brown/black body with yellow or red stripes. Also, there is hair on the tip of its mouth.
Where Do They Come From?
Kissing bugs are insects that live near their food sources in the woods. Their food sources can be rats or squirrels. When it is spring or summer, they will move to another place looking for a new place, mates, and food. Therefore, they will come and disturb you at these times.
So, how can they enter the house in the first place and where do they come from? Well, the answer to these questions is that like other invading insects like roaches; Kissing bugs love dark and cold places. At day, they might crawl into your house through every hole they can find. Yet, they are considered as nocturnal insects that move at night; apparently, that is not always the case. Therefore, it is also a fact that they are interested in bright light. At night, they will crawl into your house due to the light that comes from your house.
Like what has mentioned above; they love cold and dark places. Furthermore, they would like to hide in those places. One of the best hiding places for them is under your mattress. Also, the fact that they are nocturnal can be meant that they will crawl on you and bite your mouth or eyes area while you are asleep. That is the adult ones. As for the nymphs or the young ones, they will bite often due to their need to grow. Also, a perfect hiding place would be great for the female ones to breed. Can you imagine multiple Kissing bugs under your mattress? Only imagining the horror would encourage you to do the methods of how to get rid of kissing bugs immediately.
Are They Dangerous to Human?
Kissing bugs will crawl on you and suck your blood while you are asleep. Yet, they do it due to their need to feed. Even so, these bugs are still the ones to blame for the danger they brought into you and your family at house. So, what are the dangers? To answer this question, check out these bad effects that can be brought by single kissing bug bite:
- Swollen Skin
Like what has mentioned before, these bugs will bite the areas near humans’ mouth and eyes in order to feed the blood. Therefore, this behavior is the same as mosquito. Also like a mosquito, once they bite you will get your skin swollen. The problem is that while mosquito bites might sting a bit, the size of its swollen skin is not big. Yet, it may turn into rashes if scratched. While that is the effect of a mosquito bite, the swollen skin effect that comes from a single Kissing bug bite is big; almost like you get punched on your face. The swollen skin is itchy, yet it burns. Therefore, do not attempt to scratch it or it may turn into a wound.
- Chagas Disease
These small insects called kissing bugs might not so dangerous when you see it. Yet, the fact says differently. Also, like every blood-sucking insects, these kissing bugs need to be terminated as fast as possible using the methods of how to get rid of kissing bugs due to the fact that they carry dangerous parasites that may lead to a sudden death. There are several cases already about the sudden deaths caused by these parasites that live inside the issing bugs.
The name of this parasite is Trypanosoma cruzi. This parasite lives inside the bug. But, it does not contagious due to the bug bite; the one that holds this parasite is the feces of a kissing bug. Then how can it enter human body? Well, the answer is while a kissing bug suck on your blood, they also drop their feces at the same time. If you attempt to scratch or even touch your body part that has the feces, it will break and the parasite will enter your body. As a result, you got the Chagas disease.
There are some symptoms that indicate whether a human gets this disease. Furthermore, the symptoms are divided into two phases. As for the first phase, the symptoms won’t show anything particular because it has the same symptoms as influenza. First of all, you will lose the appetite to eat, and then you will feel your body heat rises. After that, you will get fever and body aches followed with fatigue and the urge of vomiting. To distinguish between a normal influenza and this disease, you can recall whether you got your skin swollen before or not. Big sized swollen skin on your face can only mean that you were bitten by a kissing bug. Therefore, if this is the case, it is surely chagas disease. Yet, this disease can be cured by killing the parasites before it enters your chest. Therefore, you need to go to the doctor as soon as possible to treat it before it goes to phase two.
In phase two, here you will get chronic symptoms because the parasites have entered your chest and it will attack your heart and digestive muscle. The chronic symptom would not be able to hide. First of all, you will feel difficulty in breathing and easy tiredness followed by painful chest or stomach. While the first phase has symptoms that may lead to influenza, these chronic symptoms may lead to a sudden death. Why is it? It is because the parasites not only live in your body doing nothing; they destroy your major organs such as your heart and your digestive muscle; making you unable to breathe.
When it has gotten serious, the heart will get bigger, followed with heart failure and complication. As a result from these symptoms, the heart may stop and sudden death is occurred. The symptoms will be shown after 2 months from the moment they bite you. So, this is why applying methods of how to get rid of kissing bugs will prevent this disease to destroy your body.
The danger of chagas disease is serious and it may lead to death. Yet, there are also kissing bugs that have no parasites. But, their bite effect may give you allergic reaction other than swelling and itching on your skin. Rather, you will get diarrhea. Diarrhea is a digestive problem that causes human feces to turn watery, then it makes you always feel the urge to go to the bathroom. Even so, it can be cured easily. But if this problem occurs again followed by tightness on your chest, it may be another indication of chagas disease.
How to Get Rid of Kissing Bugs?
From the facts above, it can be concluded that this small insect can bring great danger to humans’ life. Therefore, these methods of how to get rid of kissing bugs must be applied immediately. Yet, it has to be noted that squashing them is not a great idea. The opposite from saving yourself, squashing them will make their blood spread. It has mentioned above that the parasite lives in their body; so the blood can also be dangerous. So, it would be better to kill them slowly for your safety. Seems like it is inhumane, yet it is the best way of how to get rid of kissing bugs. These are the methods of how to get rid of kissing bugs in your house:
- Prevent Them to Get In
There is no better way of how to get rid of kissing bugs than preventing them to get inside of your house in the first place. There are many things that you can do to prevent them from get in. first of all; you can check outside your house whether there are any holes or crack. These holes are their entrance to your house. Therefore, if you find these holes or cracks on your walls then make sure to seal them immediately. Second, it would better to have doors and windows with no gaps under them. Also, the gaps can be the entrances for kissing bugs to get into your house. Third thing you can do is to remove any rodents’ or any mammals’ nests on your yard.
Most noteworthy, kissing bugs have a habit to take refuge near rodents’ nests due to their need of blood, so to remove rodents’ nests is one of ways to prevent kissing bugs to come into your house. Fourth, replace your lamps outside with yellow bug lamps. These lamps are known for their quality in preventing bugs to enter your house. As a result of using these lamps, your house won’t be visible to them. Finally, if you are unable to replace the doors and windows then you can put anything to block the gaps. As for example, you can use a block of wood and place behind the doors and windows to block the gaps.
- Use Bug Traps
Using bug traps is the most common method in killing bugs indoor and outdoor. This method is one of the best methods of how to get rid of kissing bugs. As for kissing bugs, the traps might be tricky to be made due to the fact that their diet is none others but blood. Yet, it is known that they love dark and cold places. Therefore, it is an advantage for you. First of all, take one up to three jars and wrap black duct tape until all of the outside surfaces are covered. Or, grab a black colored spray can and paint the outside with black color. After the paint is dried already, put dish soap inside the jar and mix it with water.
Then, close the jars and shake them until the inside surface is slippery. Then, take the water out of the jar and put on the lid. Make a hole on the lid big enough for the bugs to get in. Finally, put these jars outside and inside your house. As a result, they’ll be trapped there.
Another easy bug trap you can use is sticky trap. If you are about to use these traps, it would better to make them by yourself. Yet, you still need to purchase the glue. Sticky traps have a shape of a yellow sheet and it is a great prevention against bugs including kissing bugs. Therefore, you can make some to prevent them to bite you. First of all, take a sturdy sheet of paper and place sticky glue there. Then, place these paper cuts on the gap of your doors and windows. This way, they will be halted before reaching you. Also, do not step on it.
- Bug Zapper
Bug zapper is also one of the best methods of how to get rid of kissing bugs due to the fact that kissing bugs are also interested to bright lights. One of these bug zappers may cost you for about $30 up to $60 each. Also, these bug zappers need to be placed outside along with the yellow bug lamp. While the yellow lamps attract less bugs, the bug zappers is the ones that will do the trick instead. As a result, all of the bugs including the adult kissing bugs will fly right into the bug zappers. Furthermore, it would be better to put these bug zappers near your doors and windows.
- Clean Your Bedroom
Kissing bugs are like bed bugs; they often stay inside a mattress and come out at night to suck on humans’ blood. Therefore, based on this fact it is known that to prevent and to get rid of the kissing bugs you need to take out your bed outside every morning and put in under the sunlight for about one to two hours. Yet, doing that alone won’t save you. What you need to do nest is to clean your entire bedroom. Make sure that there is no dark place for them to hide. Also, always open your curtain to let the sunlight into your room. Furthermore, clean your cabinet at least twice a day to make sure there are no bugs hidden there. Finally, apply the other methods above in your bedroom to double the safety.
- Use Chemicals
If you are thinking about using chemicals to kill these bugs, it is fine as long as you consider it as the last resort. Unlike other methods above, chemicals are used either to prevent, to kill, or both. First chemical you can use it pesticide. First of all, purchase pesticide on a spray bottle and spray it onto your surroundings in the house and yard. Doing this will kill kissing bugs and any other bugs immediately, but make sure to stay away from your house while it takes effect. Also, you can use borax powder. To use it, sprinkle some on the gap of your doors and windows. To prevent it from blown by the wind, sprinkle it on the sticky paper. As a result, the borax will kill the kissing bugs and any bugs it touched.