Can you differentiate between a stink bug and a kissing bug?
In this article, we are going to learn about two different types of bugs that are kissing bugs and stink bugs and we will compare both the bugs on various bases. Let's first start with these insects' body sizes.
Kissing bugs are usually bigger than most stink bugs, kissing bugs comprise red, orange, or yellow stripes. The species of kissing bugs are found in the U.S and there are around 10 of them whereas there are so many species of stink bugs but the brown marmorated stink bug creates a lot of nuisance. Now if we talk about the major part of a bug, whether they bite or not, in case of kissing bugs they are capable of biting any creature no matter if it is a pet, an animal, or a human whereas the stink bugs have sucking or piercing mouthparts yet they do not bite. The proboscis is shorter in stink bugs. These mouthparts are also common in kissing bugs but they do bite. When it comes to their appearance, kissing bugs have cone-shaped heads and therefore they are also known as conenose bugs. They are around 0.75-1 in (1.9-2.54 cm) long, with color combinations of black, dark brown, red, yellow, orange comprising a tan marking over the abdomen. Stink bugs are around 0.5-0.63 in (1.27-1.58 cm) in length with color combinations of gray, mottled brown, and black and comprise white segments over the antennae with six legs.
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What is the difference between a kissing bug and a stink bug?
The kissing bug and stink bug look alike but still, there are many changes you would notice in them. For instance, stink bugs have two pairs of wings (the wingspan is not known) that are attached to their back but they do not cover the whole abdomen. The head looks blunt whereas if we see a kissing bug head it is more elongated and sharp. Kissing bugs have long and six thin legs and the mouthparts are extended until their head and in some species even beyond their head.
Now comparing kissing bugs with stink bugs based on their diets, stink bugs are mostly found feeding on soybeans and fruits and they show harmony towards fruits like apple, peach, and citrus. On the other hand, kissing bugs are mostly found feeding on blood from their vertebrate host animals as a food source because they are more prone to bites and they also feed on some domestic as well as wild animals that include domestic dogs, raccoons, rodents, and sometimes even humans. Next, let's talk about their distribution. Stink bugs are more popular in areas with their preferred foods which are grown in about 41 states. Kissing bugs are generally found in southeastern, southern, and southwestern states. Let's discuss further the medical importance and disease these bugs are related to. If the stink bug feeds on fruit it will cause a distortion known as 'cat facing', and also while feeding on soybeans they are reducing the yield of that crop. Stink bugs or the brown marmorated stink bug does not spread any kind of disease but creates nuisance with their presence. Kissing bugs are capable of spreading Chagas disease which is common in the US and some parts of Central and South America.
How do you tell if a bug is a kissing bug?
The best way to identify whether the bug is kissing or not is to see the bite marks, they are very familiar with biting near the mouth or anywhere on the face which may cause swelling or redness over that particular part.
You will not understand the effect right after the bite but later it will hurt. Kissing bugs also spread Chagas disease. This disease is widespread among the people of rural areas of Latin America. Soon after a kissing bug bite, the insect defecates too, therefore it is suggested not to rub the feces of the kissing bug or else you will be infected with the disease. They are very active during the months between May and October so during this time you may see them. People living in Texas are familiar with these bugs. At night time, you should also beware of these bugs as they can jump from walls and bite your face. Kissing bugs' bites appear like red swelled marks found mostly over the face.
How many eggs do kissing bugs lay vs stink bugs?
The stink bug is a type of parasitic bug also called Halyomorpha halys. They are black and dark brown and were discovered in the USA in the early times. When the stink bugs mate the male bug releases a special chemical called pheromones and also passes vibrational signals. Female bugs examine these signals and then simultaneously respond to another signal, stink bug shows metamorphosis through their life cycle.
There are three stages where the first is the initial stage, the nymph stage, and then the adult is formed. Stink bugs lay around 20-30 eggs on the underside of leaves and they lay eggs in groups which is an interesting fact. Next, talking about the eggs of kissing bugs you should keep a check on their eggs and feces. They have thin legs, with red, yellow or orange-colored bodies marked with stripes and suck blood from animals, insects, and humans. They show an incomplete metamorphosis and also consist of three life stages including the egg stage followed by the nymph stage and then finally becoming adult. Eggs laid by females are hidden in safe areas. Their eggs are white or slightly pink in the shade which the females hide in safe places.
What do you do if you find a kissing bug in your house?
Kissing bugs are generally harmful to humans as they bite them on their body and mostly on the face near the eyes and nose, so if you ever find kissing bugs in your house do not touch them and do not even try to squash them.
The process of getting rid of stink bugs and kissing bugs is almost the same. Find the holes or points which you think the bug may have entered through and seal them tightly and try to reduce the outdoor habitat. When there is the construction of a building, the removal of their habitat is a must. For this purpose people also contact services for a free inspection and for science-based prevention and to devise the strategy to control them. Things you should keep in mind include, not touching these bugs with bare hands because these are parasitic bugs and can transmit disease to humans from other different animals and can transmit the same disease to domestic animals as well. Try to hold or catch the bug and make sure you wear gloves for this and put them in a plastic bag or an air-tight container and remember to clean the places the bug came in contact with. Pest control is the best way to get rid of them if there are any in your house, otherwise clean the place with a bleach solution which will make sure that it is bacteria-free and will not harm any of the members living in the house. Pest-free treatments are also available nowadays to deal with these types of bugs and insects.
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