I spend a lot of my time answering great questions about specific challenges folks are having regarding their gardens on the Baja. Lately there has been lots of talk about Kissing Bugs. Not to be confused with anything you would love to kiss, on the contrary these pests are not to be taken lightly!
The diseases caused by blood-feeding insects including the Kissing Bug constitute the single greatest threat to human and animal health on this earth.
Known scientifically as the Triatomine Bug, they can cause Chagas Disease, a tropical parasite sickness that can cause havoc in your body including heart problems.
Kissing bugs are common in the USA and in Mexico. They are found outside hiding under rocks, bricks and cement for protection. They come into your homes looking for food and come out only at night. Bites are normally found around your mouth, cheek bones and other sensitive areas on face and body. They are Small in size approximately 1 ml.
Kissing bugs and the Chagas disease infections often go hand in hand and this is a fairly serious concern. However, remember that it’s not the saliva (or the blood) that contains the disease (unlike Malaria). The disease is actually contained within their feces (poo) and you will only catch it if the excrement (that has the disease) is placed near an open wound (such as a recent cut or graze), is dropped in your eye (can also be rubbed in with your fingers) or if you swallow it. Some of the symptoms of Chagas disease include:
Diarrhea (does depend on the person)
Adverse skin reactions (such as rashes, hives, itching, swelling of glands, etc.)
Nausea, fainting and shortness of breath (not usually immediate but will manifest after some time has passed)
Inflammation of the heart and kidneys (this would be confirmed by a certified medical expert).
Protect your pets for they to can be inflicted with Chagas disease from the Kissing Bugs!
Natural products to control kissing bugs include organic/food grade Diatomaceous Earth, and some local traps.
New World Organics - 'CrawlAway' Diatomaceous Earth based product in one liter size is now available - call or e-mail Cathy (that's me!) to purchase today!!