Kissing Bug Photos: Carrier of the Chagas’ Disease Parasite
Frequently Asked Questions About What The Bug That Carries Chagas Disease Looks Like:
Q: How Can I Identify a Bug that Could Potentially Carry Chagas?
A: While it’s not possible to know if a bug is actually infected with the disease that causes Chagas it is very important to look at the characteristics
of the bugs so that you can easily tell which bugs could potentially be infected. Children should also be instructed never to go near insects that could potentially be Chagas carrriers
Q: What Size are the Reduviid bugs (vectors that carry the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi) that causes Chagas Disease?
Generally they are about the size of a quarter. They can slide into very small cracks and crevices. It has previously been reported that the bugs are generally seen in poor
areas of Latin America with substandard housing, but they have also been seen in homes in the United States, especially in areas of the country like Texas, California and Arizona.
Q: Why is there not more being done to teach children and adults to identify what the “kissing bugs” look like?
A: Chagas is considered one of the neglected diseases, and there is still a misconception that it is largely confined to only poorer countries with less than ideal housing conditions. What is disturbing however, is that the statistics of cases found in blood banks across the United States in certain areas has risen. And there are many reported veterinary cases of Chagas even though screening is not routinely done and pet owners may find out their animals are infected with Chagas by accident.
It is critical that more people learn to identify the Reduiviid bugs though photos, so please pass along this photo page so that more people can learn which insects can carry Chagas.
Kissing bugs may also be called “bloodsuckers, “conenose bugs”, assassin bugs, or “vinchuca”.
Order: Hemiptera, family: Reduviidae.