Assassin bug prevention guide


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Don’t be fooled by the apparently harmless name: kiss bugs, also known as assassin bugs, transmit diseases that, when scratched, can attack humans and allow bacteria to penetrate the skin. While these bugs help by eating other insects that invade your garden, it may not be worth keeping them around as they will also feed on humans. These bugs get their nickname from their tendency to bite around the eyes and mouth, so finding ways to keep these pesky, nocturnal insects out of your home is important. A kiss bug bite isn’t harmful to anyone who has been bitten, but there is still a risk of infection from left behind poison or feces. If you live in the warm southern region of the country, you’ve likely seen these insects and want to know how to get rid of kissing bugs.

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Needed time: 1 to 2 days
Difficulty: In between
Estimated costs: $ 20 to $ 170

Tools & materials

Before you start…

How to Get Rid of Kissing Bugs Before You Begin

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Although these insects may seem harmless, they can transmit a disease called Chagas disease, which causes severe itching and rashes near the bitten area, and can also cause vomiting, tiredness, or swelling. It is important to handle a kiss bug infestation with caution to avoid getting bitten and involuntarily donating blood to an insect. Animals are also at risk of being bitten. You can buy a few common items to keep kisses from getting into the house. In general, calling a pest control company is the safest, most effective way to thoroughly eliminate kisses and other insects they feed on.

Tips on How to Get Rid of Kissing Bugs

  • Seal any cracks or holes that allow insects to crawl into the house, including windows, doorposts, roofs, plumbing and electrical areas, and the foundation.
  • Change the lightbulbs on the porch to yellow lightbulbs to avoid attracting insects.
  • Remove any piles of wood or rubble from the house.
  • Use a pyrethroid insecticide spray to control an infestation.

Security aspects

  • Work during the day to avoid spending time in areas where kissing bugs are active at night.
  • If using any spray chemicals, make sure the area is ventilated.
  • When changing the lightbulbs, make sure the power is turned off first.
  • Do not touch a kiss beetle with your bare hands or crush it on the floor to avoid exposing it to diseases that it can transmit.

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STEP 1: Identify the kiss bugs and their source.

Kissing bugs are easy to identify. They are usually 1¼ inches long and are dark in color over most of their oval body. Some species have brown, yellow, or red stripes along their belly. Their most striking feature is a unique cone-shaped head.

Typically, kiss bugs are found in the southern region of the United States, particularly from Arizona to Texas, but they have been seen in other northern states as well. They are nocturnal and hide in dark, dry crevices during the day. Cracks in furniture, walls, or floors are potential homes for kissing bugs, as well as under beds or near pet beds. Kissing bugs hide in all outdoor piles of rubble, from bricks to leaves.

STEP 2: Seal any cracks or gaps in windows, doors, walls, and the foundation.

Seal any small gaps that kissing bugs might enter the house to look for accessible sources of food. Inspect the area around doors, walls, windows, and the foundation and seal or repair any cracks or holes. If window grilles are cracked of any size, consider replacing or repairing them. Make sure the seal on the bottom of each exterior door is in good condition.

How to Get Rid of Kissing Bugs Inspect your pet

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STEP 3: Examine Your Pet Before It Enters.

Beetles are known to ride in the coats of pets, and kissing beetles are no exception. If your pet has long fur, it is a good idea to examine them carefully to make sure kissing bugs aren’t hiding where they can feed on your pet at will. Wear gloves and remove kissing bugs outside so as not to bring them inside.

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STEP 4: Move piles of firewood away from the house.

Firewood piles are often full of critters and rodents that live in or feed on the wood. Since kiss bugs are predators to almost every other insect, they are also found where there is an abundant source of food. If the pile of wood is near the house, it makes it easier for kisses and other pests to gain access, whether through unknown cracks or determined effort to find a way. It is recommended to move a pile of wood away from the house, even if there is no active infestation.

How to Get Rid of Kissing Bugs Replace outdoor lightbulbs

Photo: istockphoto.com

STEP 5: Replace outdoor lightbulbs with yellow lightbulbs and use an insect zapper.

Using a porch light at night increases safety for homeowners, but it also attracts unwanted insects. Months, flies, mosquitos, and kisses are all drawn to bright lights at night. If you’ve noticed a significant number of insects around your outdoor lighting, consider installing yellow lightbulbs that are specially colored so as not to attract insects. The yellow glow from energy-efficient CFL or LED lamps is not so visible to kissing bugs.

A bug zapper can also be effective at killing any bugs that get it too close to your home. A pyrethroid insecticide spray comes in handy for killing individual bugs that may have made it inside.

While these tips can help keep kissing bugs and other insects from invading your home, these pests can still live in your yard. Once kissing bugs have settled on your property, they are likely to end up in your home. Your best bet is to call a certified pest controller to get rid of the infestation before it becomes a major problem. Leaving these insects in your yard is just a wait game until they get to your home. Hiring a pest control company is the surest way to ensure that kissing bugs stay a long way away and your family stays safe and sound.

Getting a killer beetle bite is not fun, and the bites can be dangerous to humans. Because the beetles are nocturnal, they are not easily spotted until it is too late. With these ideas to prevent kissing bugs from invading your home, you will be better prepared to avoid indoor infestation and a professional can help reduce the population of kissing bugs outdoors for you and your family Enjoy your garden safely and in peace.

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Find licensed pest control experts in your area and get free, no-obligation estimates for your project.

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