‘Kissing bug’ CDC

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a deadly insect known as the “kissing bug” has made its way to into Kansas and nearly every southern state.

Also known as the triatomine bug, the insect has been spotted in some southern states. It’s unclear when, where or how many of the bugs have been reported. The bugs feed on the blood of mammals, including humans, and may carry a parasite that causes Chagas disease — which the CDC says can be fatal if left untreated.

"Various triatomine bugs in all life stages, from eggs to nymphs to fully grown adults. A variety of bug species, that share similar traits, are pictured." - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Various triatomine bugs in all life stages, from eggs to nymphs to fully grown adults. A variety of bug species, that share similar traits, are pictured.” – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC says residents should double check around their homes for cracks and holes because the bug tends to hide under beds and mattresses. It offered some examples of where the bugs could be found:

  • Beneath porches
  • Between rocky structures
  • Under cement
  • In rock, wood, brush piles, or beneath bark
  • In rodent nests or animal burrows
  • In outdoor dog houses or kennels
  • In chicken coops or houses

To keep them out, you should:

  • Sealing cracks and gaps around windows, walls, roofs, and doors
  • Removing wood, brush, and rock piles near your house
  • Under cement
  • Using screens on doors and windows and repairing any holes or tears
  • If possible, making sure yard lights are not close to your house (lights can attract the bugs)
  • Sealing holes and cracks leading to the attic, crawl spaces below the house, and to the outside
  • Removing wood, brush, and rock piles near your house
  • Under cement
  • Having pets sleep indoors, especially at night
  • Keeping your house and any outdoor pet resting areas clean, in addition to periodically checking both areas for the presence of bugs

When they make it inside, here’s where the CDC says they often are found:

'Kissing bug' CDC

  • Near pet resting areas
  • Between rocky structures
  • Under cement
  • In areas of rodent infestation
  • In and around beds and bedrooms, especially under or near mattresses or night stands

If you find one, the CDC says you should Please do not touch or squash the bug. Place a container on top of the bug, slide the bug inside, and fill it with rubbing alcohol or, if not available, freeze the bug in the container.

More information about the triatomine bug and precautions can be found on the CDC website.