Also known as kissing bugs or triatomine bugs, assassin bugs are predatory insects that feed on blood. While these bugs might have interesting names, they are quite deadly and can transmit dangerous disease-causing parasites when they bite.
If you’ve found one of these insects in your home, do not hesitate to eliminate them. This article will consider how to get rid of assassin bugs and keep them away permanently.
While there are several methods, some of the most effective ways to remove kissing bugs from your home include using;
- Diatomaceous earth
- Sunflower oil
- Fipronil-based pesticides
- Bug zappers
- Garlic spray
- Bottle Traps and
- Essential oils
Identifying Assassin Bugs
Assassin bugs are predatory outdoor insects that feed on the fluids from other insects, animals, or humans. They do not feed on plants but may wander into your garden in search of other insects to feed on.
When assassin bugs are migrating, they can get attracted to the light bulbs in and around your home. If you have cracks, holes, or open windows, these bugs might find their way into your home and look for the next thing to feed on, which, unfortunately, might be you.
To avoid being on the menu for these nasty kissing bugs, it is best that you get rid of them as soon as possible. Before discussing the several ways to eliminate assassin bugs, let’s consider how to identify them.
How to Identify an Assassin Bug?
Assassin bugs are unique and pretty easy to identify. Depending on the type of assassin bugs, they can be dark brown or black, with red or orange spots around their edges. Some common varieties of assassin bugs include wheel bugs, ambush bugs, or milkweed bugs.
These predators can grow up to 1.5 inches and are easily identified by their broad flat backs and piercing mouthparts. They have oval, elongated bodies and prominent antennae, which they use to search for their prey.
Besides being black, brown, or orange, some species can also be gray, with yellow spots.
Now that you know what an assassin bug looks like, here are some measures to take to keep them out of your home;
Ways To Get Rid Of Assassin Bugs
Before employing the methods to be discussed, thoroughly inspect your house to identify where these bugs may have nested. They are drawn to dark corners and are often found between furniture, holes in mattresses, or spaces between box springs.
When carrying out a house inspection, look out for assassin bug eggs too, as they can breed more bugs even after you’ve eliminated the adult insects. You can find clusters or rows of assassin bug eggs outside on tree stems and leaves. You can also find them in dark corners where adult assassin bugs may hide.
Outside your house, you can find adult assassin bugs hiding under cool, shady places, like rocks, debris, flower beds, or woody areas with a lot of vegetation.
Once you’ve located their hiding places, then you can begin to eliminate them using;
1. Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.)
This naturally occurring substance is one of the most effective ways to eliminate several insect pests, assassin bugs included. You can use D.E. to get rid of assassin bugs by sprinkling them in their hiding places. Its abrasive nature dehydrates and kills them within a short period.
You can also use D.E. outside your home and in your garden. It is not a chemical, so it is safe to use around your plants as it will not cause any damage. Simply sprinkle a thin layer around the areas you find any assassin bugs.
You can also remove assassin bugs from your property by simply vacuuming them with a handheld vacuum or whatever works best for you.
Take a vacuum to their hiding areas and vacuum away. However, this might not be the most effective method if you have not found all their hiding places.
You can use D.E. or any other friendly pesticide before following through with a vacuum for optimum results. This helps you eliminate them, ensuring you don’t leave any bugs behind.
Pyrethrins are organic compounds that are fatal to insects. They effectively knock them down within a few minutes and eventually kill them by attacking their nervous systems. You can purchase organic insecticides containing pyrethrin from your local store and use them to tackle an assassin bug infestation.
When applying pyrethrin, target the crevices, holes, and cracks that might house assassin bugs. Ensure you follow the instructions on the box, mix well, and apply thoroughly. You can also spray pyrethrin directly on the bugs for more effect.
Additionally, if you find any assassin bugs outside, pyrethrin will also work for outdoor use. Its nature makes it safe for use around the perimeter of gardens and around pets, so you have nothing to worry about.
4. Bug Zappers & Traps
Since assassin bugs are attracted to light, bug zappers can also effectively eliminate them. You can hang a bug zapper closest to where you notice these critters. Once they are attracted to the light, they will get zapped and fall to their death.
You can also set simple traps for assassin bugs. One way is by filling a shiny tray with soapy water and placing it below a bright light source. As the light attracts the insects, they will come close and inevitably fall into the soapy water, which you can dispose of.
Another way to set traps for assassin bugs is by fitting an electric candle inside a bottle to make a bottle trap. Once the light attracts them, they will fly close to the bottle and fall in.
5. Essential Oils
Essential oils like citronella, mint, or neem are also great ways to keep assassin bugs away. You can make a simple solution by mixing a few drops of these oils in water and pouring the mixture into a spray bottle for easy application.
You can also make a simple natural insect repellent using the following recipe;
- Lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- Sunflower oil
- Spray bottle
- Add ten drops of lemon eucalyptus oil to 8 oz of sunflower oil.
- Shake well and allow to sit for a few minutes.
- Pour into a spray bottle, and it is ready for use.
- This mixture is safe to be sprayed on your clothing, skin, or any area where you find assassin bugs.
How to Prevent Assassin Bugs From Entering Your Home?
Once you’ve successfully removed assassin bugs from your house, you must take the necessary precautions to ensure they do not return. Here are some important guidelines to follow;
Step 1: Seal all Entry Points
If assassin bugs return to find an open entry point, they will not hesitate to nest in your home again. Carry out more home inspections, replace all broken window screens, and close any holes or cracks in the walls.
Step 2: Change your Lighting Fixtures
Assassin bugs are naturally attracted to white light. To deter them from coming close, you can exchange your white light bulbs for bulbs with a yellowish hue, as this color does not attract bugs as much.
Step 3: Perform Regular fumigation
Carry our regular fumigation inside your home and its surroundings. You can use pesticide granules or aerosols to do this. Use a nose mask when applying these chemicals, as they can be harsh.
Step 4: Remove hiding places
Assassin bugs will hide under any debris or compost piles you may have in your yard. To stop them from nesting in your house, keep a tidy yard and remove piles of wood or unnecessary litter.
If your assassin bug problem only seems to worsen, contact pest control professionals to conduct thorough extermination.
Help! An Assassin Bug Has Bitten Me
Assassin bugs are also called kissing bugs because they often target the areas around your mouth and nose when they bite. These bites can be nasty and dangerous because assassin bugs leave fecal matter behind, which may infect you with the parasite that causes Chagas Disease.
If an assassin bug has bitten you, use antibacterial soap to clean the bite, which will lower the chances of infection. If any swelling occurs, use an ice pack to reduce it and apply vitamin E lotion to reduce any itchiness you may feel.
Not all assassin bug bites will lead to a Chagas Disease infection. However, here are some symptoms to look out for;
- Body aches
Experts advise that you try not to treat yourself at home but visit a doctor if your symptoms worsen. If left untreated, this disease can cause irreversible damage to your heart, liver, and lungs.
Remember that assassin bugs can also bite animals. Contact a vet immediately if your dog or any other pet displays symptoms like those mentioned above. Your dog might also develop a lack of appetite and swollen lymph nodes. Watch out for these symptoms, and do not hesitate to seek medical attention if needed.
Assassin bugs are predatory insects that feed on fluids of other insects, animals, and humans. If left unattended, their bites can cause fatal complications. The best way to eliminate assassin bugs is by using diatomaceous earth, vacuuming, sunflower oil, pyrethrin, chemical pesticides, and aerosols.
You can also eliminate assassin bugs by setting bottle traps for them or changing the color of the lighting bulbs around your house.