What are Kissing Bugs and how to get rid of them
What are Kissing Bugs
Kissing Bugs are small insects which sucks blood from humans and warm blooded animals. Kissing Bugs are also known as Conenose bugs and they can cause serious damage by spreading diseases to humans and animals.
Kissing Bugs can be easily recognized by the 12 orange spots around the edges of their bodies. They have a characteristic cone-shaped head with two antennas and a pear-shaped body.
As mentioned above these insects sucks blood of warm-blooded animals and Humans. The Kissing bug stings the man to suck the blood and during the meal leaves his feces and urine – containing the protozoan in the affected area
Humans and other animals become infected when they scratch the itchy bite. Kissing insects tend to suck blood from wet areas and mostly from their face. These insects climbs the face of people and animals, biting them near mouth and eyes. And when they feed, the bugs defecate in the same place, leaving feces that can be infected by the parasite..
Kissing bugs are also known as Silent killer in some part of World, because most people do not show signs of infection. This bug belongs to Triatominae family which spreads a parasitic disease called Chagas disease, which we will explain below.
Where do kissing bugs hide in a home and their locations?
In the United States, the kissing bugs are found from Pennsylvania, south Florida, to the west of California.
Kissing insects enter homes through open doors and windows. They are attracted to light in and around homes. The insects hide during the day and go out to feed themselves after sunset. Inside the homes, the kissing bugs hide in the cracks of walls and ceilings and in other areas of homes which can not be accessible or seen by us. They also hide in pet linen.
Outside our homes they spend their days under leaves and stones and in wildlife nests.
How to get rid of Kissing Bug?
You must be looking for how to control Kissing bugs and natural ways to get rid of kissing bugs.
The first step to get rid of kissing bugs is to remove the infested bedding and control the attic for mice, rats, raccoons and squirrels. These animals must be removed and their nests cleared to completely control the insects.
Kissing insects respond well to insecticides. Choose a product labeled for use against Triatoma. The most effective insecticides are those that contain cyfluthrin, permethrin, bifenthrin or esfenvalerate.
Prevent re-infestation by frequently aspirating and sealing hiding places and entry points. Cover windows and doors with fine mesh screens and seal any other cracks or openings that lead to the outside.
About Chagas disease
Chagas disease has been sounding alarm among the Doctors all over the World. This parasite is found mainly in rural areas of Latin America, where it is transmitted to humans mainly through infected feces of triatomine bedbugs or Kissing bugs. According to a report by the American Doctors, this disease is increasingly common in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan.
If left untreated, Chagas disease can causes serious cardiac or intestinal complications in about thirty percent of patients. These complications can sometimes lead to heart failure and sudden death. According to World Health Organisation this disease causes over twelve thousand deaths every year and that there are 8 million infected people in the world. Due to very less information available about the Chagas disease only 1% people are able to have a diagnosis and get proper treatment.
Below are some stats about the cases infected with Chagas in some Countries:
United States – 300K Infected Cases
Europe – 100-150K Infected Case
Symptoms of Chagas disease
The Chagas disease can occur in the acute or chronic form with symptoms of varying severity that may or may not occur, until the appearance of serious complications.
In acute phase the main symptoms of Chagas disease are are fever, headache, muscle pain, insomnia, intestinal disorders, respiratory disorders, enlarged lymph nodes and liver.
The chronic phase is the most dangerous of Chagas disease and affects mainly men. The parasite lurks in the heart tissue giving rise to a series conditions that can lead to the death of the patient due to sudden cardiac arrest.
How the disease is transmitted?
- By direct sting or bite of Kissing bugs
- With blood transfusion from infected donors
- From infected mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth
- With the transplantation of organs from infected donors
- By ingesting food contaminated by infected bugs
- Accidental exposure to the parasite in the laboratory
- Contact with infected wild animals, such as raccoons and opossums
Diagnosis of Chagas disease
- The diagnosis of Chagas usually occurs through the detection of antibodies linked to the presence of the protozoan
- This disease can also be diagonsed by direct observation of the parasite under a microscope in a blood sample.
- Serological tests are normally performed in the presence of the characteristic symptoms of the pathology.
Treatment of Chagas disease
The most commong treatment of Chagas disease is the famarcological treatment which is effective during the first weeks of the infection i.e during acute phase. Two drugs are mainly used to kill the parasite which are benznidazole and nifurtimox, but their effectiveness is limited. These medicines are accompanied by other medicines to treat the symptoms of the disease. To date there is no vaccine and the only method to avoid infection is to protect yourself from bites of these Kissing bugs.