Nevada July 09, 2019
A Parasitic Bug Has Been Spotted Throughout Nevada And Its Bite Can Be Deadly
The insect known as the “Kissing Bug” sounds innocent enough. However, it’s known to spread a fatal disease and it’s unfortunately been spotted in Nevada. Originally found in areas throughout Latin America, this bug is making appearances all across the southern half of the country this year. Stay safe and keep reading to stay informed about how to identify this parasitic bug and what you can do to deter it.
The kissing bug— formally known as a triatomine bug— got its nickname from the fact that they often bite people on the face. Although many kissing bug bites can be harmless, some have proven to be deadly.
You can identify a kissing bug by their dark backs that are sometimes orange or red-fringed. They can vary from penny-sized to quarter-sized, and boast a distinct pointed snout.
Triatomine bugs are known for carrying a parasite that can cause Chagas disease. Chagas disease is transmitted to animals and humans solely from insects, and those infected may carry very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.
However, the disease can be fatal to young children and people with weakened immune systems. Cardiac and gastrointestinal complications occur in around 20%-30% of people according to the CDC, so it's important to get treated if you suspect you have been bitten by the kissing bug.
So what exactly is a kissing bug and how does it spread Chagas? Kissing bugs suck people's blood after they bite, which can be harmless in itself. However, they are also known to defecate while they are biting. If the bug's fecal matter gets into the bite, a Chagas infection can occur.
Although kissing bugs were once mainly found in rural areas of Latin America, the insect has now spread to the southern portion of the United States. There have been confirmed sightings of 11 different species of the kissing bug across the lower half of the country and as far north as Pennsylvania.
The bugs are known to hide in cracks and corners and they are most active at night. Most people get bit while they are sleeping. They are most often seen around dog kennels, woodpiles, underneath wooden decks, outdoor sheds, and other shaded wood structures.
The best way to prevent kissing bugs from making a home out of your home is to remove wood and brush piles around your yard. Also, be sure to regularly clean places like tool sheds and decks to prevent kissing bugs from inhabiting these spaces.
Although kissing bugs have been spotted in Nevada, they are mostly found in three other states: Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. There's no reason to panic about the spread of these pesky little insects, but you should definitely keep your eyes peeled for them and get tested if you suspect you've been bitten.
More information about kissing bugs and Chagas disease can be found on the CDC website
Definitely keep an eye out for this parasitic bug this year. Chagas disease is definitely no joke. While you’re at it, be sure to take a look at this list of
13 Creepy Bugs Found In Nevada That Will Send Shivers Down Your Spine. You never know what type of crazy insects you’ll come across in the Silver State.