Getting bitten by the kissing bug may sound like fun. However, once you know the kissing bug is an insect that bites human victims around the eyes and mouth, it doesn’t seem so sweet. As if being bitten isn’t bad enough, this bug’s poop may carry a deadly, infectious disease known as Chagas disease. The kissing bug typically resides in warm climates, such as South America or southern U.S. states like Texas. However, it has recently been discovered further north. According to Delaware Online, this insect has been seen in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
8. What Is a Kissing Bug?
The kissing bug is an insect of the Triatoma genus. It also goes by the name conenose bug or triatomine bug. According to Pest World, this bug is typically light brown or black. Some varieties of these oval-shaped insects have red, yellow, or tan marks along the abdomen. Those at higher risk of suffering the bite of a kissing bug are those who live in warm climates. The conenose bugs may enter a home through open doors or torn window screens. They prefer to hide during the daytime and bite their victims while they sleep.
7. What Is Chagas Disease?
Unfortunately, kissing bugs may carry a potentially life-threatening disease called Chagas. According to the CDC, a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi transmits Chagas disease to humans and animals through the feces of insects. Chagas disease can be transmitted to humans when the kissing bug bites the victim and then leaves behind poop. However, Chagas can also be passed from one person to another through blood transfusions and organ transplants. Furthermore, you can contract Chagas disease by eating food contaminated with the feces of the kissing bug. A pregnant mother infected with Chagas disease may pass the infection along to her unborn child.