Kissing bugs are wingless insects that are about 2 cm (0.75 in.) long. Kissing bugs are dark brown or black with red or orange spots along the edge of their bodies. They are also called assassin bugs or cone-nosed bugs. They usually hide during the day and are active at night when they feed. They can go for weeks without feeding.
Like mosquitoes, kissing bugs feed on blood from animals or people. Kissing bugs have that name because their bites are often found around the mouth. Kissing bugs can carry a parasite that causes Chagas disease. Itching from the bites can be so bad that some people will scratch enough to cause breaks in the skin that get infected easily. The bites can also cause a serious allergic reaction in some people.
Kissing bugs can hide in cracks and holes in beds, floors, walls, and furniture. They are most likely to be found near places where a pet, such as a dog or cat, spends time; in areas where mice or other rodents live; near beds, especially under mattresses or on furniture close to the bed. Kissing bugs can be hard to get rid of. For these reasons, it is best to call QFI Pest Control for treatment choices.
The usual treatment is the use of an insecticide that kills the bugs.
How can you treat kissing bug bites?
Home treatment can help stop the itching and prevent an infection. You can:
Wash the bites with soap to lower the chance of infection.
Use calamine lotion or an anti-itch cream to stop the itching. You can also hold an oatmeal-soaked face cloth on the itchy area for 15 minutes. You can buy an oatmeal powder, such as Aveeno Colloidal Oatmeal, in drugstores. Or you can make your own oatmeal solution. Wrap 1 cup of oatmeal in a cotton cloth, and boil it for a few minutes until it is soft.
Use an ice pack to stop the swelling.
See your doctor if you think the bite may be infected.
If Kissing bugs have become a problem where you are, schedule an appointment with QFI Pest Control. Check out our monthly protection program options for year-round pest control.
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