Kissing Bugs in SCV

What Are Kissing Bugs & Are They Dangerous?

Recognize Kissing Bugs & Protect Your Santa Clarita Home

Kissing may not sound all that dangerous to you… but kissing bugs, on the other hand, can be a bit more frightening. Also known as triatomine bugs or blood suckers, kissing bugs are relatively common in the United States, including California. And with warmer weather just around the corner, it’s almost kissing bug season… meaning you may start seeing these large, intimidating, blood-sucking bugs a lot more often.

Never fear, the No Bugs team is here to teach you more about kissing bugs, if they are dangerous, and how you can remove them from your Santa Clarita home. 

What Are Kissing Bugs?

Kissing bugs are blood-feeding insects. Contrary to what their nickname suggests, they don’t actually kiss – they got their name because they often bite near the face and mouth, though they can bite anywhere on the body. They’re also known as triatomine bugs, blood suckers, chinches, and cone-nose bugs.

Kissing Bugs

What Do Kissing Bugs Look Like?

Kissing bugs are about ½-1 inch long from the end of their nose to the end of their body. Different species of kissing bugs look different from one another, but their size and cone-like nose are typically their most telling feature. The most common species found in California is triatoma protracta, which is all black and is often found in canyons. Other types of kissing bugs may have orange, red, or orange stripes.

Kissing Bugs

Where Are Kissing Bugs Found?

Kissing bugs are native to North and South America. In the United States, they’re found in the lower 28 states, including California. There are 11 different kinds of kissing bugs found in the United States, and 4 kinds found in California.

Kissing bugs are mostly active during the night, especially in the summertime. They can often be found:

  • In backyards
  • Around porches
  • Between rocky structures
  • Under cement
  • Beneath bark
  • In rodent nests
  • Inside dog houses
  • Around chicken coops

They rarely infest indoor areas of houses, but when they do, they’re most likely to be near the places your pets sleep, areas of rodent infestation, or beds and bedrooms. 

Are Kissing Bugs Dangerous? What Is Chagas Disease?

Kissing bug bites often are not cause for concern, but they can lead to dangerous complications, including allergic reactions and disease.

Kissing bug bites can transfer a parasite that causes Chagas disease, a sometimes serious disease that can have far-reaching cardiac and gastrointestinal complications. 

While the threat of Chagas disease ought to be reason enough to keep kissing bugs far away from your home and family, know that Chagas disease transmission is very rare in the U.S. In humans, transmission only occurs when the bug’s feces is rubbed into a bite wound or mucous membrane, like the eyes or mouth. 

Getting bit by a kissing bug is annoying, but it likely isn’t cause for concern. The CDC recommends washing the area with soap and water and using an ice pack or itch creams if you experience discomfort.

 But if you experience flu-like symptoms, have trouble breathing, or feel dizzy, see a doctor – these symptoms could be a sign of an allergic reaction or Chagas disease.

Are there Kissing Bugs in Santa Clarita?

Unfortunately, yes. 

Kissing bugs are most common in the southern United States, including the Santa Clarita Valley. And while the chance of getting Chagas disease from a kissing bug is low, they’re still nasty blood-feeding pests that don’t belong anywhere near your home – and they breed quickly! 

How to Get Rid of Kissing Bugs - Call No Bugs!

To prevent kissing bugs from invading your home and yard, seal cracks and gaps into your home, keep the area around and under your house neat, and keep chicken coops and other animal cages away from the house.

And if you’re in Santa Clarita, the best way to get rid of any pest is to call No Bugs Termite and Pest Control Inc. We use safer, and more organic solutions that are pet and family friendly to create a fortifying barrier around your property that protects against kissing bugs and other bothersome pests, such as snails, aphids, scorpions, roaches, stinging insects, fleas, ticks, and more. 

Contact No Bugs Termite and Pest Control, Inc. to schedule a free consultation with our Santa Clarita pest control experts.