Although commonly found in the Southern States and warmer regions, the assassin bug is no stranger to Canada due to recent climate changes. As such, it’s important to know how to identify assassin bugs, and also understand the dangers they pose as well as the methods used to keep them out of your home.
There are approximately 150 species of assassin bugs in North America. The majority are characterized by long, black or dark brown bodies, and all have a predatory nature. While their prey is often garden pests, meaning they are actually beneficial for your plants and outdoor aesthetic, assassin bugs pose serious risks for human health, and must, therefore, be controlled and prevented to avoid harmful infections.
The bite of certain species of assassin bugs (most notably the wheel bug and cone-nosed or kissing bug) can be quite painful for human beings. Wheel bugs have grey bodies with a crest on their backs resembling a cog. While their bite certainly hurts, the bite of the kissing bug is the one you should be most careful of, as it not only hurts but also spreads disease. Kissing bugs get their name due to their habit of biting around the mouth and lips of people. Their bite can result in American Trypanosomiasis, also known as Chagas disease. This disease is chronic and can have negative lifelong effects if not detected and treated early on. Chagas occurs immediately after infection (in this case the bite), and can be characterized by fever as well as swelling around the bitten area. If left untreated, chronic Chagas can lead to fatal complications within the organs; especially the heart.
There are a few measures that can be taken to ensure assassin bugs can’t easily wander into your home. Make sure crevices and cracks are filled around the exterior of your house. Try to avoid gaps under doors in your home, and use screens on windows to prevent large passages into your living space. It’s important to eliminate any easy access points for these insects. Assassin bugs also like to hang out in piles of leaves and rodent nests. Do a perimeter check of your home to rid your property of these bug-friendly habitats. Lastly, if you want to go the extra mile for bug prevention, try using yellow light bulbs outside your home as the light they produce is much less visible to flying insects. Due to the predatory nature of assassin bugs, Action Pest is always at the ready with insecticide treatments to rid your property of these unwanted visitors so you don’t have to.
No bug is appreciated or welcomed in your home. However, due to the dangerous nature of some species, you must take extra care and be aware of the potential risks associated with their presence on your property. If you’ve spotted assassin bugs near you, or are worried about them finding their way into your space, don’t hesitate to call our pest control experts at Action Pest! We’re ready to help keep you safe through our spray treatments and commitment to pest prevention.