In this guide, I will be giving you tips on how to get rid of kissing bugs.
If you’ve never had the unpleasant experience of being bitten by a kissing bug, then count yourself lucky. If you have, then I feel your pain.
Kissing bugs do not only infest areas around your home, but they also suck the blood of humans and pets as well.
Luckily there are ways to “put them in their place”.
Where Are Kissing Bugs Found?
Kissing bugs are tiny blood-sucking insects that attack both humans and pets (especially mammals like cats and dogs).
They thrive in warm or tropical regions and can go without feeding for weeks.
Their favorite hiding spots are inside cracks in the doors or walls, under mattresses in your bedroom, and other furniture. They also love spending time around areas of high pet activity and can be found near mouse dens.
These bugs carry a parasite that causes Chagas disease, although it isn’t so common in America.
Wonder why they call them kissing bugs? That’s because they bite around the lips.
If you have a kissing bug infestation around your home, then I suggest you follow the tips below to get rid of them.
How To Get Rid Of Kissing Bugs In Homes
Here’s what to do –
Identify The Signs
Kissing bugs aren’t very discrete insects, they leave a mark almost everywhere they go.
If you notice any one of the following marks, then you need to look around your home to find and exterminate them.
These signs include bite marks on or around your lips, small patches of blood stains on your pillow or mattress, and tiny bloodstains around the area where your pet sleeps.
If you notice any one of these signs, then look into ant cracks in your walls or doors to find them. Also, lift your mattress to see if they are lodged there.
Finding out where they are in the very first step to getting rid of them.
Kissing bugs are tough to get rid of since they are experts in hiding and operate mainly at night when you are asleep. For this reason, the use of pesticides may the most effective means of getting rid of them.
After you’ve discovered where they lay their eggs, you can apply the pesticide to those areas, and any other spots where they are very active, including where your pets sleep, under the pillows, mattresses, cracks, and crevices.
As much as you’d want to avoid the use of chemicals in your home, the strongest pesticides are the ones that contain them. Remember, these kissing bugs lay eggs all over the place and it takes a strong pesticide to penetrate these eggs and kill their young.
If you’re going to be using pesticides, then be sure to keep it controlled, especially if you have kids or pets in the house. The room where the pesticide is applied should be off-limits until the effects of the pesticide have worn off.
Also put on a nose mask as you apply, just so you don’t inhale it.
Chemical pesticides have been proven to be the fastest means to kill insects that are as stubborn as kissing bugs, especially if they are in large numbers.
Some chemicals have been banned from home use, but the ones you get from a store should be in order.
Use Organic / Homemade Pesticides
Organically made pesticides are also an option for getting rid of kissing bugs. They may not work as fast the chemically made products, but with constant application, they will eventually be gone.
The great thing about using organically (or natural) pesticides is that you can make them right at the comfort of your home, all by yourself.
One of such homemade insecticides includes a vegetable oil mixed with mild soap. This can also work in terminating kissing bugs from your home.
To whip up a batch, all you need to do is mix a cup of vegetable oil with quart water and a tablespoon of liquid soap. Make sure they are thoroughly blended for the best results.
Apply the mixture to where kissing bug infestations exist. These include all over your mattress and its surrounding areas, where your pet sleep, and every crack and crevice around your home.
The oil will coat the bodies of the insects and cause them to suffocate. This is because it seals off the pores with which they breathe.
You can also try a homemade soap insecticide.
To do this you will need to mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of liquid soap (the mild ones) and a quart of water. Stir thoroughly for a proper mix, pour into a spray bottle, and apply on the infested areas.
The soap spray works similarly to the oil spray insecticide. It is recommended you apply this mixture early in the morning or at night when the kissing bugs are more visible and active.
Try Neem Oil
Over the years, neem oil has become a popular remedy for treating several bug infestations, including kissing bugs.
The oil is derived from the seeds of the neem tree, and it’s a very strong bug repellant and killer. Neem oil is capable of handling kissing bugs at all stages of their lives – eggs, larvae, and adult.
It is also an organic remedy, so it is very safe to use around your home.
To use neem oil on kissing bugs, make a mixture of two teaspoons of neem oil and 1 teaspoon of liquid soap (absent bleach). Shake it thoroughly with a quart of water then spray around the infested areas.
Neem oil spray can also be used as a preventive measure against kissing bugs. Spray around the areas where they are most likely to infest, such as the cracks in your walls and around the bedroom.
Make A Batch of Garlic-Based Spray
Garlic has many health benefits to humans, but it can severely irritate bugs. As we all know, garlic has a strong scent that even some humans cannot stand, imagine the effects on a kissing bug when used as an organic insecticide.
Garlic spray won’t kill the bugs, but it will irritate them to the point where they have to leave. Consider it a repellant, rather than a bug killer. But hey, the mission is to get rid of them right?
To whip up a garlic-based spray, take two bulbs of garlic and mash them up in a blender, using a quart of water.
Allow the mixture to sit overnight and pour it into a jar or spray bottle. You can add half a cup of vegetable oil or liquid soap if you wish.
Use Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
If you’re looking for an instant answer to kissing bug infestation, then this may not be the best solution. But if you’re patient enough, using food-grade diatomaceous earth is an ideal remedy.
Take an adequate amount of it and sprinkle it in areas where the bugs are most active.
After hitting your defined targets, you can still apply the food-grade DE around other areas of the house as a preventive measure.
Install An Insect Zapper
An insect zapper (or bug zapper) can be effective against kissing bugs. They usually conceal themselves in dark areas, but they are also attracted to light so the zapper can work.
Be sure to install the zapper in areas where they frequently operate. You may need to buy more than one bug zapper to do the trick, since the bugs may be spread out across different areas of your home.
When the light draws them in, they will be electrocuted upon contact.
Steps You Can Take To Prevent Kissing Bugs
If you’ve succeeded in treating a kissing bug infestation, or you’re trying to prevent it from ever happening, then you should follow these tips below.
Tidy Up Any Wood Or Rock Pile Outside The House
Kissing bugs love to be sheltered in spaces that provide shade, so a wood or rock pile is a perfect environment for them.
If you have any stashed up in your yard, then be sure to get rid of them immediately.
Tighten Up Your Doors And Windows
This is not to say you shouldn’t open up your windows for fresh air to come in, it simply means you should seal off any tiny gaps in-between the frames to prevent the bugs from creeping through.
You can buy weather-stripping to seal off the gaps. They aren’t expensive either so you wouldn’t need a large budget for it.
Give Your Home A Thorough Vacuum
If the bugs have already laid their eggs, a good means to stop these eggs from coming to life in your home is to vacuum them up and properly dispose of them.
Kissing bugs bite and suck the blood of humans and pets, so they aren’t welcome.
Follow the steps above to get rid of them.
I trust this article on how to get rid of kissing bugs has been helpful.