Should you be concerned about the Kissing Bug Disease, a.k.a. “Chagas Disease”? One bite from a kissing bug could be the kiss of death, resulting in a heart attack decades later. Originally from Mexico, Central America, and South America, Kissing Bugs are now in the lower part of the United States. So far, reports indicate Kissing Bugs exist as far north as Northern Virginia. Will Kissing Bugs migrate northward to New York and New Jersey?
Recently, dozens of news stories warned the public about Kissing Bugs. The articles are startling. Most explain that while you sleep, you may be bitten by a Kissing Bug and then infected by a parasite known as, “Trypanosoma cruzi”. This parasitic infection is known as “Chagas Disease”, or “Kissing Bug Disease”.
What is Kissing Bug Disease?
Kissing Bug Disease begins with the acute phase lasting from a few weeks or months. The hallmark sign of a kissing bug bite is swelling on one side of the face. But many people notice no symptoms, causing the disease to go completely unnoticed. When symptoms do exist, they can either be so mild they get overlooked, or misdiagnosed because the symptoms of Kissing Bug Disease are not unique. Some symptoms of Kissing Bug Disease during the acute state include fatigue, fever, body aches, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headache, and/or a rash. Over time, these symptoms usually fade.
Even though the symptoms of Kissing Bug Disease disappear, the parasite remains in the blood of the infected person for decades to a lifetime. Thirty percent (30%) of infected people develop life-threatening conditions decades later, including an enlarged heart, heart failure, an altered heart rate or rhythm, cardiac arrest, an enlarged esophagus, enlarged colon, resulting in a possible interruption in the digestion process.
Is Kissing Bug Disease the new AIDS/HIV?
It has been suggested that Kissing Bug Disease is the new AIDS/HIV. This is probably due to the possibility of infection with no symptoms followed by a potential deadly ending to the disease. It should be clarified that there is no relationship between the AIDS/HIV virus and Trypanosoma cruzi.
Are Kissing Bugs in New York and New Jersey?
As of November 17, 2014, reports of kissing bugs are as far north as Northern Virginia. We have not seen any reports or alerts of kissing bugs in New York or kissing bugs in New Jersey. Our clients have not reported any sightings of suspected kissing bugs, and our Pest Control Technicians continue to observe no activity, either. As for the future, there is no speculation, but it is certainly possible.
6 Easy Ways to Keep Kissing Bugs Outside of Your Home and Avoid Getting Infected by the Kissing Bug Disease
The best way to ward off a potentially deadly kissing bug bite is to block kissing bugs from entering your home in the first place. Like most pests, there are some simple things that you can do to help prevent kissing bugs from infesting your home.
- Regular maintenance is key in preventing most pests. Use caulk to seal any openings, cracks, or crevices to prevent kissing bugs and other pests from entering your home.
- Practice good sanitation practices. Keep clutter to a minimum, vacuum your floors weekly, and remove any piles of debris in and around your home.
- Make sure windows and doors are sealed tight. Ensure any vents to the outside have screens to keep insects from crawling inside your home.
- If you keep pets, check your pets, their beds, and their housing.
- Deal with rodent, bird, or other pest infestations promptly.
- Consider preventative pest control service for your home. This will avert infestations of all sorts of pests, including kissing bugs.
How to Kill Kissing Bugs
Presently there are very few products intended for the general public that are labeled to specifically target kissing bugs. For this reason, it is best to hire a pest control professional to ensure that the product used is effective in killing kissing bugs. Also a pest management professional will ensure that the method of application is appropriate and safe for your indoor environment.
Titanium Laboratories offers preventative and emergency treatments to kill kissing bugs, in addition to dozens of other pests. Call our office today at 1-877-784-8264 for a free telephone consultation.
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