There have been several reports about kissing bugs in the Nashville media lately. While it may be possible that they could be in the Nashville area, the possibility of seeing them around your home are not high. The chances of exposure to any disease vectors is even smaller.
The kissing bug has been in the Southeast for several years and has made it’s way here from South America. They are a serious threat there because of the numbers present and the manner in which the homes are built. Thankfully, the homes in the US have much better methods of construction and are sealed off much more efficiently.
There are several insects that resemble the kissing bug. Boxelder bugs and wheel bugs are two that are in the Nashville area. Don’t panic if you see a bug and think it may be a kissing bug, most likely it isn’t. Your local pest control professional or agricultural extension agent can help you reach an accurate identification.
The bite from a kissing bug is often thought to be how they transmit chagas. Chagas is a disease that can cause heart and digestive problems. The bite from a kissing bug is un-likely to transmit the disease. The feces is the primary vector and human exposure to it is unlikely.
Kissing bugs prefer to enter your home and harbor in small holes and crevices. Pest proofing your home by sealing all accessible cracks and crevices will reduce insect sightings, including the kissing bug. While it is impossible to seal every crack and crevice it is effective to do all that you can.
Along with pest proofing your home, consider an ongoing preventative pest control service. The majority of insects enter your home from the outside. Having a professional pest control operator treat the exterior on a regular basis will prevent insects from accessing the interior. This service also decreases the need for interior treatments and makes scheduling much simpler.
Contact your local pest control professional today if you would like an inspection of your home. They will be happy to discuss methods to protect it from the kissing bug and other insects. Inquire to see if they have a service option to treat the exterior on a regular basis. If so, take advantage of this simple yet effective method to prevent insect infestations at your home.