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The Dangers Of Assassin Bugs And Ways To Deter Them

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Assassin bugs (Reduviidae), also commonly known as ‘kissing bugs,’ present a danger to humans and our canine companions. Once only a resident of the Middle Americas, due to warmer climates this insect has made its way to over half of the United States.

Assassin Bugs: Their Dangers And Deterrents

The threat they pose? Chagas disease. This disease is contracted by the bite of an assassin bug and is proven to be very serious. In this article, I will answer the following questions that most of us have regarding the assassin bug, such as:

  • What do assassin bugs look like?
  • Why are they called the ‘kissing bug’?
  • What is their preferred habitat?
  • What preventive measures can I take to stop them from entering my home?
  • How can I treat an assassin bug bite?
  • What are the symptoms of chagas disease?
  • Is there a natural way to repel assassin bugs?

Let’s begin…

What do assassin bugs look like?

assassin bug appearance

assassin bug appearance

Their appearance can vary slightly. The photo above is a picture of the most common characteristics of an assassin bug. Other characteristics of the assassin bug: They can be dark brown or black with red or orange spots along the edge of their bodies.

Why are they called the ‘kissing bug’?

Their most common nickname, ‘the kissing bug,’ derives from the fact that their preferred area of the human body to bite is around a human’s mouth. This usually occurs while we are sleeping, as they are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale as we sleep. They are considered blood sucking insects, like ticks. In other words, they don’t just bite and go on their merry way. However, some people who have been bitten say they never even felt the first bite.

Assassin bugs will also bite other areas of the human body, because they’re attracted to our warmth. Another common place for them to bite is the spinal area.

What is their preferred habitat?


  • They nest in wooded areas.
  • If you have an outdoor pet, you will see them closer to your home or in areas where your outdoor pet hangs out. They will bite most warm blooded mammals.
  • They are also attracted to light at night, much like June bugs. So, if you leave an outdoor light on in the evening, you’ll most likely see them. However, once they ‘hang out’ around that porch light, they will try to find a way into your home in search of a dark, cooler area in which they can hunt for prey. The assassin bug is a nocturnal hunter.


They can be found hiding in:

  • Cracks in the floors
  • Cracks or holes in the walls
  • Holes in your mattress
  • Any open spaces in your box springs
  • Furniture (especially furniture closest to your bed)

What preventive measures can I take to prevent them from entering my home?

I researched the internet pretty well to answer this question. All the sources pretty much conclude the same.

  • Seal any cracks around your home and inside your home
  • Make sure there are no piles of debris around the outside of your home (such as a pile of leaves)
  • Change your outside light bulbs to yellow light bulbs. Bugs of all kinds are less attracted to yellow bulbs
  • Keep screens on all windows. Check screens often for any tears

How can I treat an assassin bug bite?

  • Wash the bite with antibacterial soap to lower the risk of it becoming infected
  • If the bite starts to itch, apply calamine lotion for relief
  • Apply a wash cloth soaked in oatmeal to the area for 15 mins at a time for more itch relief
  • Apply ice for swelling
  • Take Benadryl once you are aware of a possible bite. This may prevent a reaction such as a rash.

What are the symptoms of Chagas disease?

Both humans and dogs can contract Chagas disease. The symptoms are as follows:

Human symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

These symptoms can mimic symptoms of the flu. However, a telltale sign that you could have Chagas disease is swelling of the eyelids. Usually just one eyelid will be affected, not both. If you suspect you may have contracted this disease, please visit your doctor immediately! If left untreated, it can cause major damage to your heart, lungs, and spleen.


Dogs | The Dangers Of Assassin Bugs And Ways To Deter Them

Dogs | The Dangers Of Assassin Bugs And Ways To Deter Them

The symptoms of Chagas disease in dogs varies with the duration of infection:

  • Acutely infected dogs typically have a fever, loss of appetite, lethargy, swollen lymph nodes, and an enlarged liver and/or spleen. This phase may go unnoticed by owners, particularly since the clinical signs tend to resolve with time.
  • Dogs have no symptoms at all in the latent phase, which may last for several years.
  • With chronic infection, however, dogs can develop a type of heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy. This may result in congestive heart failure. Even more shockingly, affected dogs may drop dead before developing any symptoms of heart disease.

Click HERE for complete information about Chagas disease symptoms in dogs and other valuable information for your canine companion.

Is there a natural way to repel assassin bugs?


In my research, I found that the most common way to repel them (or be rid of them altogether) is to call your local exterminator. BUT, if you’re anything like me, you want a repellent without chemicals. So, I searched high and low looking for a way to naturally repel them, using zero chemicals whatsoever.

I finally came across one!

Here is an excellent all natural repellent that you can use on your clothing and skin to prevent being bitten.

Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent


  • 1 bottle of organic lemon eucalyptus essential oil
  • 1 bottle of organic sunflower oil
  • 1 cobalt blue or amber glass bottle with spray top


  • Fill glass bottle with the organic sunflower oil. This is the carrier oil which dilutes the essential oil so that it is non-irritating to the skin.
  • Then add 10-25 drops of Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil, depending on the size of your bottle. For example, use 10 drops for every 8oz of sunflower carrier oil. If you choose to make a larger batch, simply add more drops. Ideally you want 1 part Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil for every 10 parts sunflower oil.
  • Close bottle tightly and shake well to blend oils.
  • The repellent can now be sprayed on clothing and skin to repel insects.
  • Be sure to store the bottle in a cool and dark place, because sunlight can denature the beneficial properties of the oils.
  • Also it is important to use only under adult supervision and keep out of children’s reach. Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil is a strong menthol-like oil that can cause irritation and a burning sensation if it comes into contact with eyes.

The Reaper Files shows a video of everything we need to know about assassin bugs:

If you have an all natural repellent for assassin bugs that you would like to share, I would love to hear from you! Tell me in the comment section below.

Check out these other great articles on how to naturally repel insects this summer:


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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

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Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




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