Paying attention to the latest media news, our pest control Plano, TX specialists couldn’t help but notice a growing concern related to the Kissing Bug and its association with the Chagas Disease that seem to have set everyone on fire. While this particular bug isn’t a lawn and landscape pest but a home one, we cannot overlook the fact that more and more of our readers and clients are asking us a lot of questions related to this insect and the dangers it poses. Today we will detail a few things about the bug and especially about some easy prevention and control methods.
What Is the Kissing Bug and How Dangerous is It?
There are 11 different species of kissing bugs in the U.S., but two of them are most common in the South Central United States, including Texas, where they have one of the highest densities. Belonging to the Triatoma variety, these Kissing Bugs are 1 inch long insects presenting a cone-shaped head and a pear-shaped body. At a closer look you can easily notice that the bugs’ bodies present 12 orange spots on their edges.
The bugs carry the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite, which in turn causes Chagas Disease. The bugs are nocturnal critters and their M.O. is to lurk at night inside your home and bite peoples’ soft tissue around the mouth and eyes when they sleep (they are most active in summer and early fall). While the bite alone isn’t the main issue, the dangers arise when people scratch the bite wounds and allow the bugs’ feces and secretions to infiltrate the blood stream. It sounds – and it is – dangerous and gross, therefore prevention and control are mandatory.
Kissing Bugs don’t discriminate but tend to prefer children and pets as well. In case you thought you were off the hook, the simple fact that your pet sleeps inside after spending the day out on the property might lead to severe consequences. They begin hunting after the sunset and they bite humans and animals alike. They might enter the home through cracks or open windows or can get carried inside by unknowing pets, children or pest wildlife.
Kissing Bugs Prevention and Control
Proper kissing bug control revolves around prevention mostly, as the pests are nocturnal and hard to identify in broad daylight. However, our pest control Plano, TX have some advice for you to stay safe.
- Ask your pest control Plano, TX team to regularly evaluate your property and implement the necessary measures to keep mice, rats, and other small wildlife away from your property, outdoor structures and vegetal debris, so they don’t stand a chance of entering your home carrying the bugs.
- Check your pets’ fur regularly and keep their bedding clean.
- Bring the pets inside during the night to prevent them from getting bitten, but always check their fur first.
- Never underestimate a child’s claim of seeing the bug or getting bitten by one if playing on the property.
- Make sure the entire house is in good shape and has no cracks or unsealed holes.
- Make sure utility lines, pipes and cables have their openings properly insulated.
- Torn insect meshes and weather strippings should be fixed and replaced if torn.
- Have your local lawn care Plano, TX specialists perform regular property clean ups to keep away vegetal debris, wood, rock, brush piles and compost far from the house.
As control is concerned, you should know there are also efficient kissing bugs repelants and treatments, including cyfluthrin, permethrin, bifenthrin, or esfenvalerate. Your local pest control Plano, TX specialists can tailor you a prevention and intervention plan to keep the bug at a safe distance from your home. Make sure you never touch a Kissing Bug with bare hands and make sure that even if you sleep with your windows open, your insect mesh is intact and impossible to breach.