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Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug)
Reduviidae
Triatoma infestans
Type: Insect

Effect: Pest
lorincook
lorincook

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Reduviidae
Assassin Bugs
Cimicoidea
Predator Bugs Superfamily
Cimicomorpha
Predator Bugs
Heteroptera
True Bugs - Different wings
Hemiptera
True Bugs
Exopterygota
External Wings
Neoptera
New Wings
Pterygota
Winged
Dicondylia
Pre-Winged Insects
Insecta
Insects
Hexapoda
Six Legs
Arthropoda
Jointed Feet
Ecdysozoa
Molting
Protostomia
Mouth First
Bilateria
Two-Way Symmetry
Eumetazoa
True Higher Animals
Animalia
Animals
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


Reduviidae Family
Triatoma Genus


Location / Where this Creature is found:

I have found many of them in my house in Utah....I used to leave them alone, until I found out why they were hanging around.....

General information about Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug) :

The members of Triatominae , a subfamily of Reduviidae, are also known as conenose bugs, kissing bugs, assassin bugs or triatomines. Most of the 130 or more species of this subfamily are haematophagous, i.e. feed on vertebrate blood; a very few species feed on other invertebrates. They are mainly found and widespread in the Americas, with a few species present in Asia, Africa and Australia. These bugs usually share shelter with nesting vertebrates, from which they suck blood. In areas where Chagas disease occurs (from the southern United States to southern Argentina), all triatomine species are potential vectors of the Chagas disease parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, but only those species (such as Triatoma infestans and Rhodnius prolixus) that are well adapted to live with humans are considered important vectors.

In true entomologic terminology, the word "bug" strictly refers only to the large order of insects (Hemiptera) which are characterized by having sucking mouthparts. Most hemipterans are familiar to us as plant feeders (leafhoppers, aphids, stinkbugs), however, the family Reduviidae consists of predatory and parasitic insects, one group of which are obligatory blood-feeders that seek out mammals for their meals. They are known by a variety of colloquial names (kissing bug, cone-nosed bug, Mexican bed bug, etc.) and can be a cause of dermatologic wounds. The assaults are usually nocturnal and reactions are due to salivary proteins. The most common kissing bugs in the United States are in the genus Triatoma with the less common Paratriatoma found in the southwest.

Life cycle and biology

There are 16 species and 18 subspecies of Triatoma in the United States, distributed in the southern 2 3 of the country; additional related species and genera are common in Central and South America. The kissing bug is dorso-ventrally flattened and is armed with a long, piercing proboscis. Although its mouthparts are only capable of sucking and there are no opposing structures capable of biting, its feeding wounds are still referred to as bites. Triatoma insects go through 5 molts before reaching maturity. Their typical North American animal hosts include woodrats, opossum, raccoons and armadillos. The insects are suspected to also feed off of many domestic pets and the wild animals that are abundant around human habitats. They are most often found in direct association with their animal host; for example, inside the large debris nests of pack rats. However, they are also capable of taking blood meals from humans. Because of their association with wild animal hosts, interactions with humans are more probable in areas that are surrounded by a natural environment in comparison to the disrupted landscaping of urban areas.

Medical significance

Triatoma are predominantly nocturnal and feed off of a sleeping person's exposed human body parts. They will not feed through clothing, although they will feed through large-weave laboratory cloth. Typically, they position themselves next to the recumbent human, rather than on top of the host, to feed with the proboscis being the only contacting body part. Subjects describe the bite of Triatoma as virtually painless with a slight tingling sensation. In laboratory observations, the insects fed for 8 to 15 minutes on humans before repletion and interfeeding duration was typically 3 weeks. However, the insects were able to survive 3 to 6 months between meals. In a large experimental study exposing 464 test subjects to 4 species of Triatoma nymphs and adults, most subjects exhibited no reactions to reduviid feeding with the number of symptomatic subjects being minimal (pruritus 0-4.2%, edema 0-3.2%, erythema 0-6.9%) 0 to 72 hours postbite for the variety of insect species tested. This low response to lack of prior exposure of subjects to Triatoma is attributed to salivary antigens. However, Triatoma can cause severe wounds via exposure to its salivary compounds and death from anaphylaxis is possible. Most sleeping victims are not aware of the insect's presence during feeding, although for the few hypersensitive victims, severe allergic reaction to the insect's salivary secretions is sufficient to awaken them.

Human interactions with Triatoma are considered to be incidental encounters and not deliberate infestations as the insects are typically found singularly inside homes and not as multiple intruders. Of definitive diagnostic importance, the engorged culprit is often found when sought; all 45 Texas patients and 95% of 110 California patients were able to recover the offending Triatoma when the home was thoroughly searched. The insect often sought shelter in and around bedding or under sofa cushions. This high frequency of detection should readily allow one to confirm or exclude the bite of this reduviid insect.

This pest causes problems by:
Kissing bugs can be the source of nocturnal dermatologic wounds in the mid to southern latitudes in the United States. The insects are obligate blood feeders and though the bites may be asymptomatic, a variety of dermatologic eruptions or death from anaphylaxis can result. The various dermatologic forms of the bite can be mistaken for herpes zoster, erythema multiforme and the ubiquitous catch-all diagnoses of "spider-bite."
How to get rid of it:




Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug)
Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug) - August 18, 2009



Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug)
Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug) - August 18, 2009



Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug)
Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug) - August 18, 2009



Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug)
Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug) - August 18, 2009



Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug)
Kissing Bug sucking juice from a recently dead female...the orange balls are the dead female's eggs.



Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug)
Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug) - August 18, 2009



Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug)
Kissing Bug cannibalizing dead female. The Orange spots are eggs ejected by the female before her death.



Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug) - Pests
Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug) - Pests - July 31, 2009



Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug) - Pests
Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug) - Pests - July 31, 2009

Comment: Kissing Bug (Mexican Bed Bug)

Page Posts: 7

lorincook
lorincook
July 19, 2010


I think you are right....upon closer comparison, I think kissing bugs have a slight bit of color around the edges of their abdomens, and a slightly different head shape....thanks very much for the tip Vanden!


Vanden Thomas

Utah July 17, 2010
I don't think that's a kissing bug. Rather, I think it is a \"Masked Hunter\" which is thankfully not a blood sucker nor a disease vector. Look up "Reduvius personatus"

lorincook
lorincook
August 23, 2009
What did the kissing bug infect the dog with?

khorse5

south texas August 21, 2009
If you have animals you should protect them. I never heard of the kissing bug untill my dog died from it. I now get my yard sprayed. Kissing bugs will take your best friend away from you so fast and there is nothing you can do about it once they are infected.
gardengeek
gardengeek
August 19, 2009
You should write romance novels.
lorincook
lorincook
August 19, 2009
Actually he's sucking the juice from her recently dead body...he has his sucker stuck in right behind her head....the little orange globes are the eggs she ejected before her death...
gardengeek
gardengeek
August 18, 2009
That's romantic

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