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How can you spot a kissing bug?

ANSWER

The bugs have brown or black wings, sometimes with a ring of red, orange, or yellow stripes on the edge. They’re usually ½- to 1-inch-long, about the size of a penny. They’re also called cone-nosed bugs, bloodsuckers, cinches, and triatomine bugs.

Like mosquitoes and ticks, kissing bugs need blood to live. They usually suck it from animals, including dogs, but sometimes they bite people. They hide during the day and come out at night to eat.

SOURCES:

CDC: “Triatomine Bug FAQs,” “Parasites -- American Trypanosomiasis (also known as Chagas Disease).”

UpToDate: “Reactions to bites from kissing bugs (primarily genus Triatoma),” “Insect Bites.”

Mayo Clinic: “Chagas Disease.”

World Health Organization: “Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis).”

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: “Conenose or Kissing Bugs.”

Texas A&M University Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences: “Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease in the United States: A Brief Introduction,” “Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease in the United States: Found a Kissing Bug?” “Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease in the United States: FAQ.”

American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology: “Anaphylaxis.”

The University of Arizona: “UA Helps Community with Kissing-Bug Problem.”

Iowa State University: “American Trypanosomiasis.”

 

 

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on December 21, 2017

SOURCES:

CDC: “Triatomine Bug FAQs,” “Parasites -- American Trypanosomiasis (also known as Chagas Disease).”

UpToDate: “Reactions to bites from kissing bugs (primarily genus Triatoma),” “Insect Bites.”

Mayo Clinic: “Chagas Disease.”

World Health Organization: “Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis).”

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: “Conenose or Kissing Bugs.”

Texas A&M University Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences: “Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease in the United States: A Brief Introduction,” “Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease in the United States: Found a Kissing Bug?” “Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease in the United States: FAQ.”

American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology: “Anaphylaxis.”

The University of Arizona: “UA Helps Community with Kissing-Bug Problem.”

Iowa State University: “American Trypanosomiasis.”

 

 

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on December 21, 2017

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