It’s Halloween season once again. This time of year brings out all of the traditional monsters and legends of monsters. Werewolves, mummies, the undead, zombies, witches all just seem a little bit more possible, a little bit more real, during this time of the year. Vampires are one of the hallmarks of Halloween and while it’s unlikely you will run in the real-life Count Dracula, it can be stated that vampires do exist in the pest world.
Although thinking about blood-feeding bugs can be fun for those who like horror and those sorts of things, the fact remains some of these blood-suckers can actually do some harm. So, if you find you have an infestation of any of the vampire-like insects listed below, contact Ehrlich to have them taken care of. Now, however, here are the top five vampire insects in existence.
- Bed bugs - did you know there was a time when bed bugs were nearly wiped out in North America? The use of various chemicals had nearly eliminated them, although they continued to be a threat in other parts of the world. Changes in the way chemicals can be used, plus the evolution of the insect itself has caused them to come back with a vengeance. Bed bugs are hardy insects, hide just about anywhere in a home or office, but require a blood meal to survive and reproduce. They do not pose any serious health threat such as the spread of diseases but can leave itchy bites. Bed bugs are true vampires since they prefer to suck blood from sleeping hosts.
- Fleas – you probably are aware that fleas are common pests for your pets. However, did you know that what makes your dog or cat itch so much is the fact the fleas are feeding on them, sucking their blood? The intrusion of the chemicals they use to keep the blood flowing causes the itching. Fleas also reproduce very fast and can really make your pet’s life miserable. They also have no qualms about jumping over to humans to feed. Fleas have been linked to diseases, however, such as Bubonic Plague, which nearly wiped out more than half the world during the Middle Ages. A flea infestation should be taken care of quickly of one develops.
- Kissing bugs – kissing bugs recently made headlines because they are the known vector for a disease known as Chagas disease. The kind that carries the virus is endemic to South America and tropical climates. They feed on blood during the night, often living in the thatched roof of homes in those regions. They then defecate near where they bite and the bite itches, which causes the victim to scratch and get the feces into the wound. Often Chagas disease has mild symptoms at first, but in later years, can create serious health trouble such as heart disease. Darwin observed and documented the vampiric nature of these insects in his journals and they have been around for centuries. According to the CDC, kissing bugs are found in the U.S. mostly throughout the southern states and as north as Illinois.
- Ticks - another pest most commonly thought of as a danger or risk to pets. It is known ticks are vectors for some very serious diseases, such as Lyme disease. Ticks crawl to the tops of tall grasses or vegetation and wave their front legs around until something like a person or animal passes by. They then latch on and crawl around on the potential host and find just the right spot to start to feed. Ticks will drink blood until they bloat up to a ridiculous size. The parasitic pests use the blood for reproductive purposes, like most vampire insects, but they can cause serious health problems with humans and pests. It is critical that the entire tick is removed as partially removed ticks can still lead to those health problems. Ticks can infest a home and breed, too, creating an infestation.
- Mosquitoes - the reigning champion of blood-sucking insects is, and has been, the mosquito. There is evidence of mosquitoes going as far back as the time of dinosaurs. Only the female mosquitoes feed on blood, but they must do so in order to lay eggs and continue the species. Mosquitoes are considered the deadliest animals on earth because they are the vector for so many diseases. The list of diseases linked to mosquitoes is a who’s who of scary, including: Malaria, Chikungunya, heartworm (dogs & pets), Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, Zika, West Nile Virus and various forms of Encephalitis. Mosquitoes are responsible for thousands of deaths around the world because of this, which makes them the all-time champ when it comes to vampire pests.
If you have noticed one or more of these pests around your home, are worried that you might have an infestation, or think they might be in your home, contact the experts at Ehrlich Pest Control. We’ll come up with a solution to get rid of vampire pests and other pests, and help prevent them from returning.