I was writing a draft for this blog and had stopped to think [it's harder than it used to be] and a kissing bug walked across the desk to my hand and started up my fingers. I was able to scoop it into a Scotch tape dispenser and go get my camera for pictures. I thought a warning was in order as most people know nothing of it's insidious nature.
Kissing bugs usually crawl onto the victim while they sleep and bore holes in them and suck or lick the blood out. If you find a row of three to six little red spots on your body and slight itching in the morning, they are probably the cause. You wont lose much blood but there are possible side effects.
When a Kissing bug sucks enough blood to fill itself up it turns around and poops right where it was eating. As the bite starts to itch and you start to scratch and rub the poop into the wound you could contract a disease called Chagas. Chagas is a horrible and debilitating disease that can take up to twenty years to kill you. And, the worst part, there is no cure.
Fortunately, it is very rare here in the states. However it is rampant in central and south America. I read where as many as ten million people could have it. There has been only a few cases of it in Texas and most of those people have been out of country before.
However, a customer of mine that lives down the road, and used to run a hunting ranch in south Texas, has had to put down sixteen of her hunting dogs that have contracted it. They traced it back to illegal aliens that worked on the ranch. The medical officials don't know how the dogs contracted it but think that there may be other ways to contract the disease. A&M University is helping her out with this and has tested over twenty of the bugs that she has caught on her place all with negative results. You can Google this for more information. I thought I would pass this along.
I believe I brought one back from my uncles house at Buchanan dam TX in our suitcase and pillows.About 2 weeks later I notice 3 or 4 bites on my back hip.Three days later I found a brown bug like the one in your picture but a lighter color. I squished it and it was full of blood. I don't ever have bugs in my house just a moth or two. The bites didn't really itch like mosquitoes do and I think this was a kissing bug. Yuck!! I had clothes on at night when it bit me so do you think I am safe from Chagas. I live here in OK?? I thoroughly cleaned and vaccuumed everything and saw no other insects.
i was whacked by this pesky creature last month and it gave me a nasty eye and hand.oh man it was really horrible! it itched like hell and my left eye was swollen like a golf ball and my left hand was lke a boxing glove.
see my article regarding that at http://www.melvindiaz.com/2009/06/24/a-bug-story/ and http://www.melvindiaz.com/2009/07/23/kissing-bug/
The BEST way to keep the kissing bugs from sucking your blood is to check your doors and windows for cracks or holes in the insulation.
I had a blanket on my front porch for my cats. One day when I was cleaning, I picked up the blanket and thousands, no lie, thousands of these black and red bugs were running around. I course, I killed as many as I could with black flag and burnt the blanket. I also used flea powder (or diamentious earth for humans) on my cats and dogs too. It is also a good idea to clean up any rat or mouse homes you see in your yard.
At night before I go to bed, I take my flashlite and check all the ceilings in my house. Their black bodies show up well on a white or light colored wall. One day I was working in my office trying to get my blog done. That night, before I went to bed, I walked the house with my flashlite and above my office chair, there were 3 kissing bugs on the ceiling looking for me.
The kissing bugs are attracked by carbon monoxcide. They can track you. It doesnt matter if you are male or female. One got into bed with my husband and me. The Kissing bug walked over my husband and kissed me.
Some people think this cone nose bug got its name because it likes to bite people around the mouth. However, I think it got its name because the wings have a big "X" on it back. I have never been kissed on my face. Several times on my arms and legs. The bite swells up to be as large as a grapefruit. I use epsom salt and cold water to soak my bites in, it seems to help. I also use a homopathic pill to stop the itching and takes the swelling down.
I have been kissed in Arizona: in the Superstition Mountain area, in Phx, in Tucson and Mesa. I just stayed inside at night. They always seem to find me. They will come in to your house day or night. There is quite a bit of documentation online about the kissing bug.
Their bite makes me sick, I get dizzy and hot and want to barf. I get up out of bed right away and usually find this bad bug running to get in between the mattress and the box springs. The female sucks your blood and then lays her eggs. It is very important to kill her as soon as possible.
Good Luck. AZ-cowgirl (please pardon my spelling?)
I watched a show on tv called Dr.Oz about a week ago and they were talking about Kissing Bugs aka Assassin Bug.I had never heard of them till then.I am a mother of 3 boys and we just bought them a small pool to get in but it has rained off and only lately so they havent been in it but today i walked out back to look at the pool when i noticed a bug in the water that looked alot like those on Dr.Oz so i went online to search and compare the pic that i took and what do ya know i SERIOUSLY believe thats what it is...I was SO freaked out by it!!!I live in the South in a small town called Washington Ga. Im gonna send a pic of it and i would love to hear what you guys think!!
The insect in the image above is *not* a kissing bug. It is a harmless insect called a Largid Bug, genus Largus. There are many kinds of "true bugs" and even beetles that can be mistaken for Triatoma kissing bugs. The best way to prevent kissing bugs is to keep your property free of wood rat ("packrat") nests, as that is the principal host of these insects. - Eric R. Eaton, author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, .