There’s nothing adorable about the Kissing Bug’s kiss, also known as Assassin Bugs.
The difference between mosquitoes that transmit malaria through their bites and kissing bugs, while ingesting blood, is that the kissing bugs deposit feces on the subject. The deposited feces, contaminated with the parasite, often lands in the bite wound. From there, it penetrates the bloodstream and affects the gastrointestinal system and the heart. It has been discovered that the disease may lead to an enlarged esophagus, colon, and heart, and even heart failure.
Here’s the Scoop
- Kissing Bugs are bloodsucking insects
- Kissing Bugs hide in cracks and corners in homes
- Kissing Bugs typically move at night and hide during day
- Kissing Bugs usually bite people at night while they’re sleeping
- Bites often occur on the face, which is why they are known as “kissing bugs”
- Kissing Bugs are capable of transmitting a parasite that causes Chagas disease in humans and animals
- The disease can also be spread from congenital transmission, such as a mother to a fetus, organ donation, blood transfusions or eating contaminated foods
- Symptoms often associated the Chagas disease include loss of appetite, rash, headache, fever, fatigue, body aches, swelling at the site of the bite, diarrhea and vomiting
- Dogs and cats are also vulnerable
- As of today, there is no known vaccine or cure to prevent Chagas
Pest control insecticides will help eliminate heavy infestations. Homeowners should seal any and all cracks around the dwelling the Kissing Bug may use to gain entry.
For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website
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