“Kissing bugs received their name because they usually bite people near their mouth while they sleep.”
Kissing bugs are blood-suckers, like bed bugs, ticks and mosquitoes. These nocturnal insects are most active May-September when they are seen wandering the Arizona desert to mate and nest. They usually feed just after sunset. They are attracted to the light in our houses, the odors that we exhale, skin odors, and to the warmth of our bodies. These insects will enter a home to feed on household pets as well as humans.
This brown leaf-shaped insect takes flight May through September when the nights are warm and dry, especially in Arizona’s lower elevations, including Maricopa and Pinal counties where the bugs are most common.
Kissing bugs received their name because they usually bite people near their mouth during the night while they sleep. The two main reasons for this is that they are attracted to the odors that we exhale, and our face is usually the only exposed area of skin during sleep. These critters usually do not burrow under covers like bed bugs nor nest in bedrooms.
These insects are important to human health in the because of the reactions their bits may cause. They also are being tested for a parasite that causes Chagas Disease, although no documented cases have been reported in Arizona and only 10-12 cases have been reported in the United States medical personnel are monitoring these insects.
When are if these critters are found it’s important to find an experienced exterminator to quickly eradicate the infestation. Treatment methods can vary from pesticide applications for small infestations to non-chemical heat treatment for larger infestations.
The first bite may only leave a small welt and is rarely dangerous. On subsequent bites, however, an allergy can develop and cause a wide variety of symptoms that include flushed skin, hives, rashes, wheezing, nausea and vomiting.
Extreme allergic reactions can include life-threatening anaphylaxis, but these reactions are only estimated to develop in 7 percent of people, according to the University of Arizona study.
There is no immunotherapy available for people who develop allergies to kissing bugs.
While regular pest control service is beneficial to keeping these critters away…consumers should be aware these critters fly and have poor eye sight. As a result they are attracted to lighting and it’s important for homeowners to keep doors and windows closed during evening hours.
Replacing outside lighting with yellow bug bulbs or using LED lighting minimizes the attraction.
If you think you’ve had kissing bugs in your home, make sure to thoroughly wash your sheets to prevent transmitting Chagas disease. If you’ve believe you been bitten by a kissing bug, it’s important to take precautions and avoid being bitten again. For more information about Kissing bugs or treatment services give us a call.
Kissing Bugs 602.308.4509
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