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Hidden Dangers Of Kissing Bug

Are you familiar with Chagas disease, which is also called American trypanosomiasis here in the United States? This is a tropical parasitic disease that begins with an acute stage that comes with the flu-like symptoms of fever, fatigue, body aches, headache, and a rash. But, if not caught early, it transitions into a chronic stage that is associated with heart problems and gastrointestinal issues. This is a serious illness that can lead to death. In fact, people with Chagas have a two to three times higher risk of dying, according to a recent study. But the connection between heart-related deaths and Chagas disease is often missed. 40% of people whose blood tested positive in this study did not have the infection stated on their death certificate.

So, how do we get this tropical disease here in the United States? It is spread by an insect known as the kissing bug. While the name “kissing bug” sounds harmless, it is anything but. These insects, known scientifically as Triatominae, are blood-sucking pests that prefer to bite us around the mouth while we’re sleeping. When they do, they introduce the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi into the bite wound, which leads to the disease.


The first step in protecting yourself and your family from kissing bugs is to know what a kissing bug looks like. These insects have six legs, two antennae, and three body parts. They have an oval shape and working wings on their back. Their coloring is primarily black. And, depending on the species, they can have light brown, red, yellow or tan markings. Red and black kissing bugs are sometimes mistaken for box elder bugs, and vice versa.

Kissing Bug Prevention

The key to prevention is exclusion. Here are some ways you can keep these bugs out:

  • Do a detailed inspection of your home and use a caulking gun to seal any gaps, cracks, or entry points you find. Pay close attention to gaps around pipes and conduit.
  • Check all your screens to make sure they are in good working condition.
  • Examine the weather stripping on your sliding glass doors.
  • Seal holes or cracks around windows, especially windows in your foundation wall.
  • If you have fewer bugs near your exterior walls, there will be less chance of bugs getting into your home. Keep grass trimmed and weeds plucked. Make sure your leaves are raked away from your home and keep organic debris to a minimum.

For the best protection, have a pest control company provide service for your home. Even when you’ve done everything you can do, it may still be necessary to apply pesticides to complete the job. This should be done by an educated pest control technician. Pesticides can be harmful when applied improperly.

If you need assistance with pest treatment, find out if you’re in our extensive service area. At Active Pest Control, we know how to keep bugs out.

Hidden Dangers Of Kissing Bug in Georgia

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