Kissing Bugs in the United States

kissing bugs in the USIn recent weeks, there has been a lot of talk about the Latin American triatomine bug, more commonly known as the “kissing bug”. This creature is causing quite a panic, as many people learn for the first time about these cockroach-like bugs that can cause Chagas disease in humans and other mammals. While news stations are portraying the kissing bug as something new to the United States, Wired has shared some information that will help you to sleep easier at night. Kissing bugs have been in the United States for at least 12,000 years and there is no evidence that infections are increasing in the country.

What is Chagas disease?

A chronic heart disease that is caused by a blood parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi, Chagas disease has infected less than 40 people in the US since 1955. While it is possible for kissing bugs to transmit Chagas disease, it is rather unlikely that you will come in contact with one, let alone become infected.

Coming in Contact with a Kissing Bug

Kissing bugs are found across the Southern half of the country, but they typically live in wooded areas, meaning that unless you are camping there is very little to worry about. Wildlife like raccoons and opossums are much more likely to become infected than people, which is why the CDC recommends that pets sleep indoors and their outdoor resting areas are checked regularly for bugs.

While kissing bugs are not found in Dunkirk, New York, there are plenty of other insects and rodents that you may come in contact with this winter. For all your pest problems, contact Comfort Pest Control at 716-366-2120.