Also known as triatominae, kissing bugs are a subfamily of Reduviidae family and also go by the names, the assassin and conenose bug. Wondering if your home is plagued with these pests? Read the following 10 facts about kissing bugs to find out.
Fact 1: A Plethora of Species- There are approximately 140 species of kissing bugs in existence which all evolved from a Reduviidae predator.
Fact 2: They Don't Kiss, They Suck- They're called "kissing bugs" because they are known for killing their prey by injecting them with highly potent toxins that liquefy the insides of the prey so they can be sucked out by the predator.
Fact 3: Only 2 Species Are Most-Known for Infecting Humans - There are only 2 species that most affect humans, the Triatomini and Rhodniini. These 2 tribes likely evolved from the same ancestor.
Fact 4:There's a 'Kissing Bug Season' - The adults actually engage in migratory flight. 'Kissing bug season' begins mid-spring and continues on until the end of the summer. There is sometimes a second peak season, which occurs during mid-September. This is also the time in which they often invade homes.
Fact 5: The Creeps Come out at Night- These bugs are essentially nocturnal. They come out for feeding and traveling at night.
Fact 6:They Love It When You 'Leave the Light On' - Given that these bugs typically fly out after dusk, kissing bugs are attracted to the brilliance of porch and window lights.
Fact 7: They Hide Under Beds- These bugs often seek refuge between mattresses, daybeds, futons, and other tight spaces where potential prey frequent.
Fact 8: TheyCan Cause Chagas Disease - A horrific disease that can cause damage to the heart and central nervous system, kissing bugs, bed bugs, and other blood sucking parasites are known for causing this disease.
Fact 9: Most Humans Are Usually Allergic - Most people have moderate to severe allergic reaction to the bites of kissing bugs. The most common culprit behind insect bites that result in the medical emergency known as anaphylaxis, people with severe allergies are often rushed to the hospital for treatment of low blood pressure and other unfavorable side effects.
Fact 10: They Can Remain Undetected for a While - Depending on the size and composition of your home, these bugs can remain undetectable for some time. This is due the fact that only visibly seeing the bugs or the brown/black spots they leave from feces.
Overall, if you suspect that you have kissing bugs, steer clear of the area and contact an bug extermination expert that you can trust.