Valentine’s Day is fast-approaching, and many people are seeking the perfect gift(s) for their significant others. Teddy bears, jewelry, flowers, and chocolate are all favorites, in the hopes of receiving a grateful kiss or two. However, when it comes to kissing bugs, don’t be fooled by the seemingly romantic nomenclature. Kissing bugs can actually pose a fatal threat to humans if they are not understood or dealt with properly.
Kissing bugs are similar to bed bugs in that they are primarily nocturnal and feed mostly off mammal blood they draw by biting through the skin (hence the name). Most people who encounter kissing bugs have done so unknowingly in their sleep. A kissing bug’s bite can transfer a parasite that causes Chagas disease, a possibly fatal illness with symptoms of fever, aches, rashes, and swelling. A kissing bug bite can also cause severe allergic reactions in some people. This Valentine’s Day, show your love for your family by securing your home and health against this potential pest threat.
How to Prevent Kissing Bugs
1. Seal Your Home
Kissing bugs often enter a residence through cracks in the walls or gaps around windows and doors. By taking the time to seal these openings, you greatly reduce the chances of kissing bugs infesting the area–especially during colder months when they seek warmth and shelter.
2. Clean Your Bedding
Much like bedbugs, kissing bugs often hide out within mattresses, spring boards, and sheets, as this brings them into close proximity with human victims and the blood the bugs require for nourishment. By vacuuming and washing your bedding regularly, plus inspecting the mattress, you may be able to detect and eliminate kissing bugs before they become a true threat.
3. Clear Debris
Go into the area around your home and remove or move debris piles, such as old wood, crumbling mortar, and trash. These offer potential breeding areas for kissing bugs, and the closer the piles are to your home, the likelier the pests will migrate inside sooner or later.
Contact EcoShield today if you worry that kissing bugs have become a pest problem in your home.