600 ‘Kissing Bugs’ Found Across TX
Kissing bugs are generally found in the southern states of USA, Mexico, South and Central America. There are around ten species of kissing bugs in US, out of which eight are found in Texas alone since early 1900. Researchers believe that there are about 600 kissing bugs that are found in Texas.
They have got the name of “kissing bug” because they suck blood from the victim’s face. These bugs are also known as conenose bugs because of their cone-shaped head. They are usually 14 – 24 mm in length and black or brown in color. Some of them even have yellow, tan or red markings on the belly.
These bugs are said to feed on the blood of mammals like opossums, wood rats, raccoons and even human beings. They have a tendency to hide throughout the day time and feed during the night.
Among the various species of these bloodsucking conenose bugs the two most common ones are;
• Triatoma sanguisuga or Leconte.
• Triatoma protracta or Uhler.
How do they infest our homes?
Kissing bugs generally reside in the nests of pack rats. They invade our homes only if the opportunity is given to them. Just a few types, say about 5 %, of these bugs reside in the shelters of domestic animals or in and around human dwellings.
How harmful are they for humans?
If bitten, the saliva of these bugs cause allergic reaction in human beings. The bite of these conenose bugs can even cause itching and swelling to people with sensitive skin. Kissing bugs are said to be dangerous because they harbor the parasite which is responsible for spreading the Chagas disease, which affects the digestive tract and the heart and can sometimes even cause death. Recently this disease is becoming a growing concern in US.
How to remove kissing bugs from your homes?
To remove any pest from our house we need to first discover from where they are entering. We should try to exterminate these kissing bugs by washing all our bedding in hot water. The items which can’t be washed should be vacuumed thoroughly. Sealing the cracks and crevices where these bugs usually take shelter will also starve them to death.
Once your house is kissing bug free, prevent it from further infestation. Mentioned below are some of the measures that you can follow to prevent them from entering the house;
1) Ensure that the doors and windows are properly closed.
2) Repair the damaged window screens, attic vents and the foundation cracks, if any.
3) Seal all the openings of the cables, utility lines and plumbing lines.
4) Clear the surroundings from the habitat of wild animals.
5) Maintain proper hygiene for your pets and often clean their bedding.
Are there any pest control measures for these bugs?
Applying synthetic pesticides outside the house can prevent these kissing bugs from entering the house. Also, hiring a professional pest control company is a good idea.
Though the name sounds very innocent, never let these kissing bugs invade your home because their kiss may prove fatal for you.
Thanks for considering Spectrum Pest Control for all your pest control needs.