The Western Bloodsucking Conenose bug, or also known as the kissing bug, is a member of the Reduviidae family or assassin bug family. The kissing bug is a bloodsucking insect that will feed on animals and humans. This pest is mostly found outdoors but are occasionally found wandering inside homes looking for a host. Animal Pest Management Services, Inc will share more about the kissing bug and how you can avoid these bloodsucking pests.
Kissing Bug Identification Guide
There are three different species of kissing bugs that range in size and appearance. They can range from ½ to ¾ of an inch in length and they are either dark gray or a light brown in color. They often have a lighter colored trim with yellow or orange stripes which travel around their abdomen. The kissing bug also has a four segmented antennae and a three segmented beak which extends back towards their body when they are not feeding. The kissing bug also has wings that rest flat on their back.
Chagas Disease Transmission
Kissing bugs are very common all throughout California. The kissing bug will often invade homes. They usually go undetected, especially during the night. Kissing bugs are a lot like bed bugs; they like to drink the blood of a sleeping host. They tend to bite multiple times and in a straight line about ¼ of an inch apart. Their bite will tend to swell and become itchy for a few days. The kissing bug is known to carry the Chagas disease. However such cases in California are very rare. The Chagas disease is spread through the kissing bug’s droppings and not their bite as many people believe. Even though Chagas disease is very rare it is still recommended to prevent these insects from invading your home.
How to Prevent Kissing Bugs?
To prevent kissing bugs from invading your home and make you their next banquet, there are a number of steps you can take. First you will want to fortify your home. Make sure windows and doors are sealed when closed. At times you may need to replace weatherstripping and screens. Next, make sure there is no structural damage that can allow kissing bugs to enter the home. You will want to seal all cracks with a caulking sealer. Cover vents and chimneys with a metal screen or mesh wiring to keep bugs from entering through the home ventilation systems. Kissing bugs will live in yard debris and in firewood. Make sure to store firewood away from the home and keep the yard manicured and free of debris. Kissing bugs are attracted to light, so at night avoid leaving exterior lights on for extended periods of time. Inside the home, make sure to check the bed before sleeping. Kissing bugs are large enough to see and often will climb into the bed waiting for a host. It helps to also keep the bed a few inches away from the wall. After you have done everything you can to keep Kissing bugs at bay, contact a professional pest control service. They can help secure your home with bug traps and insecticides that will kill any wandering intruder.