Entomology (Study of Bugs)/kissing bug

Advertisement


Question
I have kissing bugs every where here in Kendalia, Tx. I find them around and under my dog houses. I have stepped on them and some have been full of blood. On cold nights 40 and below I put red bulb heat lamps out around the dog house. Will this attract the bugs? Do they hunt during the fall and winter? What can I do to protect my animals. I have 5 dogs. I have found a few in my house. How do I get rid of these nasty bugs?

Answer
Hi, Suzanne:

Yes, kissing bugs probably do feed during the winter, especially if winters are mild there, though they don't need to feed very often.  I wrote a blog post about them:

http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2014/01/kissing-bugs.html

Here's another good page:

http://neurosci.arizona.edu/kissingbugs/basicfacts

Here's an article specific to dogs and kissing bugs, in Texas, but PLEASE understand that the media tends to grossly exaggerate risks:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Kissing-bug-poses-as-a-threat-to-

I hope all of this helps.  Perhaps the best precaution you can take is to eliminate wood rats from your property, as that is the favorite host of kissing bugs.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.