I’m sure by now you have heard of the Kissing Bug, also known as the Conenose, which has invaded the Southern portion of the United Sates. As you have read, this bug can transmit a disease from its bite, known as Chagas Disease. The Kissing Bug gets its name because it likes to bite near the mouth of its prey. But, have you heard that you can reduce the chances of having this creature enter your home? Here we will discuss the common nesting areas and ways to reduce their numbers around your home while reducing the likelihood of them entering the structure as well.
Let’s start by discussing the places the Kissing Bug likes to live. Since they are nocturnal, most of these pests will be inside their nesting sights during they day. So your chance of seeing them is slim. However, by reducing these sites, we will reduce the probability of nests forming on the outside of the structure. Some of these places include: under porches, in crawlspaces, in attics, between rocky structures, in animal burrows, in dog houses, wood piles, and brush piles.
The Kissing Bug will live anywhere an animal can take up shelter. So a preventative program to reduce wildlife burrows and living areas is essential. To do this, seal up all openings around your home greater than one quarter inch. To seal up openings leading into the crawlspace or under a porch, use hardware cloth with one quarter inch holes in the mesh. Make sure to secure the hardware cloth to the structure enough to prevent an animal from squeezing through the spaces between fasteners. The hardware cloth must extend one foot into the soil to prevent an animal from burrowing under the cloth. So dig a hole one foot down, extend the hardware cloth below grade. Then, cover with the dirt that you initially removed to create the hole. Also, since animals will nest in wood piles and brush, make sure to remove these items from your property as well.
Next, repair damaged screens and be sure to replace all weather stripping that does not create a tight seal. Make sure all windows and doors close tightly. There are pipes and wires that enter your home as well. Most of these items have holes around them to allow access into your home. It is important to seal these holes and any cracks that are found.
Once the home has been made pest proof, the next step is to treat the perimeter periodically with a liquid insecticide. During each application, treat around all windows, doors and any areas that might allow entry into the home. In most cases, the perimeter application may need to be made no more than four times a year. Refer to the pesticide label for treatment directions. Or, hire a pest control company that is well versed in providing periodic treatments to the exterior of the home.
In conclusion, these pests will nest in animal burrows and will enter the structure through openings in the home. Seal up all openings and remove any potential animal nesting sites as well as wood and brush piles. Treat the perimeter periodically with a liquid insecticide to create a barrier so insects can pick up the insecticide on their bodies as they try to cross it. Nothing will keep pests out 100%. But, as long as you follow this article you will reduce the likelihood of them, and other pests, from entering your home.