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Kissing Bugs


While they're often mistaken for stink bugs or boxelder bugs, kissing bugs are actually a type of assassin bug. Despite sounding cute, they get their name because they bite around the mouth and face of a sleeping host.

Kissing Bugs
Color Dark brown or black with yellow or red stripes
Legs 6
Size 1/2 to 1 inch
Antennae True

What Do Kissing Bugs Look Like?

Kissing bugs have an elongated, oval body with yellow or red stripes on their edges. They are dark brown or black and have a piercing mouth part that they use to feed on hosts.

Where Do Kissing Bugs Live?

Dry southern areas in the western United States and Mexico are where the kissing bug calls home. They tend to stay outdoors, but lights will attract them to houses. They commonly get inside through plumbing and will hide in cracks and holes in furniture. At night, they’ll climb out of beds and make their way to a host.

What Do Kissing Bug Bites Look Like?

While their bites don’t usually hurt, they will leave 5-10 small red spots. Most people only experience slight itching and swelling, but some people are allergic to the kissing bug’s saliva. In this case, a more severe itch is possible, and in extreme cases, the bites can cause anaphylactic shock.

What Disease Do Kissing Bugs Have?

Chagas disease is a potentially deadly disease that kissing bugs can carry. It’s caused by a parasite in the bug’s feces. The disease is very rare in the United States, but in extreme cases, it can lead to heart and intestinal issues if left untreated.

Kissing Bugs vs. Stink Bugs

Both bugs look similar, but stink bugs are smaller and use their piercing mouth parts to feed on plants. Kissing bugs are darker in color and feed on blood from people and animals.

How to Get Rid of Kissing Bugs

Prevent kissing bugs from entering your house by turning off outdoor lights that may attract them and filling in any openings in plumbing, foundation, and utility lines. Removing debris from your yard can also eliminate their hiding places. If you suspect kissing bugs are in your home, vacuum the carpet and areas when eggs may have been laid. Inspect your bed frames and mattresses for bugs and eggs.

If you find yourself with a kissing bug infestation, call us for a quick and efficient removal


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