A kissing bug on a plant in a residential yard

At first glance, a kissing bug doesn’t sound too bad. It’s when you start to learn about the tendencies of these insect pests that they quickly lose their charm. Kissing bugs are parasitic, like fleas or bed bugs, only they tend to feed around the eyes and mouths of their human hosts. Even worse, they also can transmit Chagas disease, which can be life threatening if left untreated. So while it isn’t likely to find a kissing bug in your home, it’s important to know how to recognize one and get it properly treated when you do.

How to Spot a Kissing Bug

Kissing bugs are oval-shaped parasitic bugs that average an inch long. They’re mainly brown or black, but can also have splotches of red, yellow, or tan along their abdomen. 

These pests prefer a warmer climate, because they originated in Mexico, Central, and South America. The climate is changing, though, and as warm climates get warmer kissing bugs have migrated into Louisiana and other parts of the southern United States. They’re mainly found outdoors, feeding on wild and domesticated animals, but can occasionally get in through open doors and windows. 

Treating a Kissing Bug Bite

A bite from a kissing bug looks a lot like a variety of other bites, irritations and infections. They most commonly show up around the mouth or eyes, but can be found anywhere around the body. Any itchiness it may cause can easily be treated by an ice pack and an over-the-counter antihistamine. 

Of course, as we said above, the feces of kissing bugs can transmit Chagas disease, and if the parasite comes into contact with ian open break in the skin. It may feel like a bad flu at first, with severe fever and nausea. It’s usually treatable, though if you experience more severe symptoms like swollen eyelids, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Preventing Kissing Bugs

We have good news – the kissing bug is not a common pest in the Louisiana area. And, much like more common insects, you can keep them out by filling or covering any potential entry points around your property. Even then, there are no precautions you can take that are guaranteed to keep all pests away – and that’s where Ja-Roy comes in. 

At Ja-Roy, we’ve been trusted pest-fighting professionals in Louisiana since 1971. We have experience with all the usual suspects when it comes to pests in the area, as well as surprise offenders like the kissing bug. So while preparation is key, if that’s not enough you can count on the team at Ja-Roy. Contact us today to get started!

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