Have you ever heard of kissing bugs? If not, this refers to triatomines and got the name kissing bugs as these bites you on the face. These bugs have a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi that comes from an infected animal or person. Then, the parasite will live in the bug’s feces and intestine. Once the parasite gets into your body, you become automatically infected and thus will get a condition called Chagas disease. Is it possible for you to get rid of kissing bugs? Find out the answer in this article.
More Facts about Kissing Bugs
Kissing bugs are known to be nocturnal. Meaning to say, they only come out during the night to eat. In case you were bitten while sleeping, you will not feel the bite, and if you do, it will not hurt too much. The bugs will bite you by injecting their saliva into your skin.
The feeding will take about 20 to 30 minutes, and can bite other parts of your face 2 to 15 times. Although kissing bugs are known to bite in your face, there is a tendency that it will bite in other parts of your body too. The bugs have a size of 14 to 24 mm long and are usually dark-colored. In rare cases, the bug may appear to be tan or yellow.
Since kissing bugs appear at night, it might not be common to you. The bite will not even give you a skin reaction. The only time that the bite will be noticeable is when there is already a cluster of bites in your face.
However, some people are sensitive to the saliva of the bug. These are the people who are most likely to have a skin reaction to the bite. Common signs are swelling redness and mild itching. In the worst cases, it can become an allergic reaction.
In case that you have chagoma, you will see a bite in your body after two weeks. Aside from chagoma, you can end up getting Romaña’s sign, which can be received when the bug’s feces are spread in your eye.
Risks Of The Bite
Earlier, we mentioned that you can end up getting severe diseases with kissing bugs. Here is a more elaborate explanation of each condition.
1. Allergic reaction
There is a chance that you can get anaphylaxis once you are bitten by kissing bugs. It is a life-threatening condition wherein you will have difficulty in breathing. Your blood pressure will become low as well. When this happens, be sure to go to your doctor immediately.
2. Chagas disease
Chagas disease is a well-known condition that is common in South America, Central America, and Mexico. It is a severe condition that you can get from kissing bugs. Usually, the infection will take place if the feces of the bug enters your body in your eyes, mouth, or nose. Most of the time, the bacteria will enter your body if you touch the bite or scratch it.
Once you have the condition, you will notice that you will experience mild flu symptoms, which are swollen glands, rash, body aches, and fever. If you still ignore these signs, there is a tendency that the condition will worsen after a few years. By this time, you can get dilation of your colon or esophagus, enlarged heart, or irregular heart rhythms.
How to Eliminate These Bugs
Of course, no one wants to get bitten by the bugs. The problem is that getting rid of them might become tricky. Why? Kissing bugs stay in the crevices of your mattress, box spring, and bed frame. There are times that bugs can appear in cracks. The bugs lay their eggs in those places.
You have the option to call professional insect control to remove these bugs for you. They will use insecticides to remove all the bugs and eggs. After the insecticides were placed in different areas, you need to do the following:
- Remove all pile-up rocks or wood in your house.
- Do not let your pets sleep outside. If possible, let them sleep in the bedroom. Be sure to clean the areas where your pet sleeps. You need to get your pets checked too.
- Seal all the gaps that can be found in your doors and windows. Do not forget to fill the cracks and holes in your screens and walls. You need to check your attic vents and crawl space vents too. Doing these can prevent bugs from entering the house.
- Make sure that all doors are shut tightly, especially at night.
- Change your current porch lights to bug light bulbs.
It is important to note that female bugs lay their eggs during spring. The bugs will need a lot of blood meal for them to grow. So be sure that you do all those listed above before spring takes place.
Kissing bugs can give you an allergic reaction or Chagas disease. These bugs usually appear at night in dark colors like black and brown. The bugs can enter your house through cracks, doors, and holes. They might even infect your pets. You will not know that you have a kissing bug bite unless you are allergic to the bug’s saliva or you are already infected by the disease.
The first symptoms that you can experience are mild flu symptoms that can become low blood pressure and other severe ailments. To prevent having a bug’s bite, you need to remove the wood and rocks in your house, keep your pets inside your house, seal gaps in your doors, windows, and vents, make sure that the doors are shut, and change your lights.
Before you do all of those, you need to call a professional insect control to help you remove the bugs first. You can do this every year, before spring as this is the time the female bugs lay their eggs.