How to Deal With Assassin Bug Bite On Your Own?
Assassin bugs can be nasty creatures. While it’s true that they perform an important role in controlling other insects, it’s also true that they are more than capable of delivering a nasty bite to people if they are accidentally encountered or improperly handled. With that in mind, we are going to go over what is the best treatment for an assassin bug bite.
An assassin bug’s main weapon is its sharp beak. All of the 7000 species of assassin bugs are equipped with this weapon, and it is this lethal beak that they use to kill and eat their prey. Assassin bugs use their beak to pierce the hard exoskeleton on the bugs that they eat and inject an enzyme that paralyzes their prey. The same enzyme begins to dissolve the prey internally so that the assassin bug can suck out its insides in liquid form and eat them. This is known as external digestion. It’s gory and gruesome stuff.
Luckily, you don’t need to worry about the enzyme the bugs produce. Assassin bugs are not poisonous to humans. But that doesn’t mean that the bite they deliver is not extremely painful. Most people consider it far more painful than the sting of a wasp or hornet. So if an assassin bug bites you, you will know about it right away, thanks to the pain this little bug delivers.
How To Cure Assassin Bug Bites
Assassin bug bites are some of the most painful bug bites out there, but they are usually relatively harmless. They can cause great pain, but they generally don’t cause more trouble than that.
The best thing to do if you want to deal with an assassin bug bite on your own is to immediately wash the bitten area with soap and water. After all, you don’t know where that bug was before it bit you, or what filthy insects it plunged that same needle-like beak into before it decided to bite you. Their mouths also contain bacteria which can be transferred into the wound when they bite. If possible, it would be a good idea to use some form of antiseptic on the wound to prevent any chance of infection. It would be a good idea, if you live in an area where assassin bug bites are common, to keep some topical cream in the house along with your first aid kit. As well as having antiseptic properties, these creams can have a soothing effect on the pain you will be feeling. Some of the better brands include a topical painkiller that may take the edge off the discomfort you’re feeling.
If the pain is really bad, you could take a pain killer such as aspirin or ibuprofen. This will help to lessen the pain of the assassin bug bite.
As the wound heals over the coming days, it is important to keep it clean. You could cover it with a band aid, but make sure to change this regularly. If you are having problems with itching and swelling at the location of the bite, you could try a topical steroid. These medicines are available without a prescription from a pharmacist in most places, and can greatly reduce the discomfort caused by a bug bite like that of the assassin bug.
It is very rare that the bite of an assassin bug will need the attention of a doctor or medical professional (with one important exception, which we will cover later). But if itching and swelling continue at the site of the assassin bug bite for over a week, or if you develop other effects from the bite, such as shortness of breath or hives, you should seek medical attention. If you do need to go to the doctor, it would be helpful to be able to show him the bug that bit you. You may not have had the presence of mind to capture it while you were in excruciating pain, but even a picture of what it looked like could help. So try to pay attention to the appearance of any bug that bites you, just in case it develops into something more serious.
Natural Ways To Relieve Assassin Bug Bite Pain
Perhaps you don’t have medicine at home, or perhaps you don’t want to use it. You may have a sensitivity to some of the treatments most commonly used for assassin bug bites. Or you may simply want to reduce your usage of pharmacological chemicals. In that case, you may be looking for a more natural way to relieve the pain of an assassin bug bite.
Your first step should always be to wash the affected area with soap and water. Applying ice to the wound will not only numb some of the pain you may be feeling, but it will also help to reduce swelling. Your next step should be to use some kind of antiseptic on the wound. Coconut oil is very effective for this purpose. Smear a generous amount on the bitten area. Not only will this provide protection against infection, but it will also help soothe the skin and reduce the swelling caused by the bug bite. There are also other natural substances that you can use for their antiseptic and healing properties. Indian lilac, also known as neem, is useful. It is most effective if mixed with turmeric. The circumin in turmeric improves wound healing by modulating collagen in the skin, so this is a useful thing to keep handy in your home.
Garlic is also known to help with both pain relief and staving off infection. You could try, once the wound has been cleaned, applying a few crushed garlic cloves to the area to stop pain and bleeding. You could even make a paste of the garlic and keep it on the wound under a bandage to promote healing.
Another surprising natural remedy for an assassin bug bite is the plantain. Narrow leaf plantains work best, but any will do. You simply cut a leaf from the plantain and chew it into a paste, then apply it to the area of the assassin bug bite. This will greatly reduce the pain and swelling and give you relief from the pain of the assassin bug bite.
Aloe vera is also a popular choice for pain relief. It is not only effective on burns but can help soothe skin punctured by an assassin bug’s bite. And few plants are easier to grow at home than the aloe. Simply cut off a leaf and squeeze out the gel the plant produces, rubbing it generously over the wound. If you don’t happen to have any aloe plants at home, you can also purchase it in its unrefined form at most organic foods stores, drug stores and even some regular grocery stores.
The More Dangerous Assassin Bug Bite
We mentioned earlier that normally an assassin bug bite doesn’t require the help of a doctor or other medical professional but in one specific case, the bite of the kissing bug species of assassin bug, you probably should. The kissing bug bite differs from the bites of other assassin bug species in that it is usually painless and you will not see it coming. Kissing bugs bite at night and inject an anticoagulant that keeps blood flowing and numbs the area. If you don’t know it’s happening it’s difficult to prevent this type of assassin bug bite.
So why is this assassin bug bite more dangerous? Well, these bugs can carry and transmit the parasites that cause Chagas Disease. This is a serious and potentially fatal disease that is contracted through the feces of the kissing bug. It is not transferred directly from their bites. Instead, they leave traces of feces on your skin near the bite location and leave you alone. You then wake up and start to scratch your face because there’s a weird bite there now. By scratching the area, you move the feces around on your skin and potentially directly into the opening in your skin from the bite. Now the parasites are in your bloodstream and you need to be concerned about Chagas Disease.
First of all, without going any further, if you think you may have contracted Chagas Disease, of which the most unique and identifiable symptom is the swelling of one eye, you need to go to the doctor right away. This disease is curable if caught and treated early. If not cured early and allowed to develop into the chronic phase, Chagas disease can be fatal – usually in the form of heart problems. It can cause an enlarged heart or even cardiac arrest. Once the Chagas disease gets to this stage, there is no cure. So you can see that the bite of a kissing bug is potentially far more serious than the bite of other assassin bugs.
How To Cure Kissing Bug Bites
If you have bites from a kissing bug and not another assassin bug bite and have been cleared by a doctor and sent home just to care for the bite, the cure is the same as any other bug bite with kissing bug bites. They are usually itchy but not painful so you should not require any pain-reducing medications or ointment. With that being said, if you have scratched the bites too much they may become swollen and painful so use pain relief medications as needed.
You should also wash the bite area immediately after you realize there are bites. Place antibiotic ointment on if you want while you’re on your way to the doctor.
To relieve the itching of the kissing bug species of assassin bug bites, you can also use a topical anti-itching cream. The kissing bugs get their name from the fact that they are most likely to bite you on your face and more specifically around your mouth. Their name makes them sound nice and friendly but it is apt that they are members of the assassin bug species because their bite can actually kill you.
Since we now know that kissing bugs are most likely to bite your face, this may impact how you cure them. You may not want a big bandage or lots of heavy cream on your face and certainly not near your mouth. More natural ways to relieve the itching and swelling might work better for you like using coconut oil or aloe which are transparent and usually get soaked almost unnoticeably into the skin.
Assassin Bug Bites
As you can see, the bites that assassin bugs can deliver to humans can be quite serious. Even a regular assassin bug – if there is such a thing – can cause a great deal of pain, and any wound places you at risk for infection. But the bite of the kissing bug is even more serious, and can lead to a lifelong and potentially life threatening disease. When you take that into account, it becomes quite clear that the best way to deal with an assassin bug bite is not to get one in the first place.
With that in mind, here are some tips to avoid getting an assassin bug bite.
– Be careful when sitting out at night. Assassin bugs are attracted to light, and also to the other insects that will swarm around a bright light at night. You could consider reducing the lights you have on at night. You could also purchase some special yellow bulbs for your lights that are designed not to attract bugs as much as regular light bulbs do. You could also consider using a bug zapper. These lights are specially designed to attract bugs, but the charged bulbs electrocute bugs once they touch them. Set up one of these lights a good distance from where you intend to sit out at night, and it will help draw assassin bugs and other creepy crawlies towards it instead of you.
– Bug proof your house. If you live in an area where assassin bugs are prevalent, bug screens are a must. Make sure that all your screens are in a good state of repair so that no bugs can get through gaps in the mesh.
– You should also try to bug-proof your home by inspecting the outside and sealing up any gaps that you find with silicone caulk. Check with special care around doors and windows, dryer vents, air conditioning conduits, water pipes and anywhere else a pipe or cable of any kind enters or exits your home. Sealing up these gaps will not only keep the assassin bugs at bay but will also keep out other pests that might try to turn your home into theirs.
– Assassin bugs predominantly feed on other insects, so by reducing the number of insects in and around your home, you will also reduce the likelihood that you will run into an assassin bug and suffer from its nasty bite. Take out garbage and recycling regularly to avoid getting cockroaches or ants. Clean up food spills immediately and make sure not to leave open food lying around. Keeping a clean house will make your home far less attractive to assassin bugs and will help you avoid their bite.
– In the same way that keeping a neat and tidy home will help you to avoid problems with assassin bugs, taking good care of your garden will also help. Trim back bushes and shrubs that are close to the home. These provide excellent habitat for many species of bugs, which makes them happy hunting grounds for assassin bugs. Pull up any heavily weeded areas that may surround your garden. Overgrown areas are very attractive to a variety of insects, which will, in turn, attract assassin bugs. It’s both impossible and undesirable to have no insects of any kind in your garden, but the fewer you have the less likely you are to run into an assassin beetle.
– And when you are tending to your garden, always wear gloves! Assassin beetles are very good at staying hidden, which is part of what makes them such great hunters. It’s all too easy for you to touch a plant without knowing there’s an assassin bug on it, and the bug will bite to defend itself. A thick pair of high quality garden gloves will do wonders to protect you from the bite of the assassin bug, as well as thorns, brambles and other insects. Plus the gloves will help to keep your hands clean, so that’s a plus.
As you can see, treatment for assassin bug bites can normally be done at home. As painful as these bites can be, they shouldn’t be too much of a problem for you to deal with by yourself. But if you suspect that you have been bitten by a kissing bug, seek medical attention right away.