Kissing bugs may sound charming, as if they were taken straight from a storybook. But upon learning more about their habits and behavior, they quickly lose their romantic appeal. The thought of a parasitic insect that bites and defecates on your face is the last thing to set off sparks.
Even worse, kissing bugs can be carriers of the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite through their feces, which can transmit Chagas disease. If left untreated, this illness can be very serious. With that in mind, it is crucial to identify and prevent kissing bugs through exclusion and extermination.
As of this writing, according to the Texas A&M Kissing Bug and Chagas’ Disease in the United States Community Science Project, kissing bugs have been found in 32 states, including Tennessee.
What Kissing Bugs Look Like
The average kissing bug has an elongated, oval-shaped body, and typically measures between ¾ to 1¼ inches in length. They may be fully brown or black, but their abdomen may also have red, yellow, or tan splotches.
Originating in Mexico, Central and South America, kissing bugs have migrated to various locations in the Southern US as the climate has warmed. So while they aren’t native to Mid-South TN, they’ve been found here more and more in recent years. These insects are predominantly found outdoors, where they feed on both wild and domesticated animals. However, they can enter homes through open doors and windows.
How to Prevent Kissing Bugs
Good news – compared to other parasitic pests, it’s relatively rare for kissing bugs to infest homes in Mid-South TN. But you can still make an effort to prepare, just in case. It can be as simple as sealing gaps and cracks around your home and using screens to cover larger openings. This doesn’t just help deter kissing bugs, it also excludes a variety of other common pests.
However, pest infestations can still happen, despite all the precautions we may take. If you find yourself dealing with a kissing bug infestation or any other type of bug problem, you can trust the team at Inman-Murphy, Inc. to handle it safely and effectively. Since 1999, we have been making pest prevention easy, and we can help you get rid of kissing bugs for good. Contact us today to get started!