Various triatomine bugs in all life stages, from eggs to nymphs to completely grown adults. A range of pest species, the share similar traits, space pictured.

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Triatomine bugs room a form of reduviid pest that can bring Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease.

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Where space triatomine bugs commonly found?

Triatomine bugs (also referred to as “kissing bugs”, cone-nosed bugs, and also blood suckers) have the right to live indoors, in cracks and holes the substandard housing, or in a variety of outdoor settings including the following:

Beneath porchesBetween rocky structuresUnder cementIn rock, wood, brush piles, or in ~ barkIn rodent swarms or animal burrowsIn out dog residences or kennelsIn chicken coops or houses

They are commonly found in the southerly United States, Mexico, central America, and South America (as much south as southerly Argentina). The map below details triatomine occurrence by U.S. State.


Eleven different varieties of triatomine bugs have actually been discovered in the southerly United States:

Triatomines room mostly active at night and feed top top the blood that mammals (including humans), birds, and also reptiles. Triatomine bugs live in a wide variety of environmental settings, typically within close proximity come an pet the pest can feeding on, called a blood host. In areas of Latin America where human being Chagas condition is an essential public health and wellness problem, the bugs swarm in cracks and also holes that substandard housing.

Because most indoor structures in the United says are built with plastered walls and also sealed entryways to stop insect invasion, triatomine bugs hardly ever infest indoor areas of houses. Exploration of the previously stages the the an insect (wingless, smaller sized nymphs) inside have the right to be a sign of a triatomine infestation. Once the bugs are discovered inside, they are most likely to it is in in one of the adhering to settings:

Near the areas your pets sleepIn locations of rodent infestationIn and also around beds and bedrooms, specifically under or close to mattresses or night standsHow deserve to I save triatomine bugs away from my home?

Synthetic pyrethroid bug sprays have actually been used effectively in Latin America to eliminate house infestations. Although similar chemicals are available in the united States, none have been especially approved because that use against triatomine bugs. A licensed pest manage operator should be consulted before using any type of insecticides to kill triatomine bugs. Roach many hotels or various other “bait” formulations perform not work against triatomine bugs. Durable insecticide treated bednets and curtains have actually been shown to kill these bugs.

Other precautions to prevent house infestation include the following:

Sealing cracks and gaps roughly windows, walls, roofs, and doorsRemoving wood, brush, and rock piles close to your houseUsing displays on doors and also windows and also repairing any type of holes or tearsIf possible, making certain yard lights space not close come your home (lights can lure the bugs)Sealing holes and also cracks resulting in the attic, to crawl spaces listed below the house, and to the outsideHaving pets sleep indoors, particularly at nightKeeping her house and also any outdoor pet resting locations clean, in enhancement to periodically check both areas for the visibility of bugsI think I found a triatomine bug. What should I do?

If you uncover a bug you suspect is a triatomine, do not touch or squash it. Place a container on peak of the bug, on slide the an insect inside, and fill it with rubbing alcohol or, if no available, frozen the bug in the container. Then, you may take that to your local expansion service, wellness department, or a university laboratory because that identification.

Surfaces that have actually come into call with the pest should be cleaned with a solution made the 1 part bleach to 9 components water (or 7 components ethanol to 3 components water).


Triatoma sanguisuga Credit:, courtesy the James Gathany


Triatoma gerstaeckeri alongside a penny for scale. Credit: S. Kjos


Triatoma protracta Credit:, courtesy of James Gathany

How deserve to I call if the an insect I’ve uncovered is a triatomine and also not an additional kind the bug?

There are countless beetles and non-triatomine reduviid bugs the resemble the triatomine bug. Two instances of non-triatomine reduviid bugs that carry out not feed on human being blood, yet prey upon various other insects room thewheel an insect and the western corsair. Part plant-feeding bugs, such together the leaf-footed an insect also resemble the triatomine. If you room unsure if the an insect you’ve found is a triatomine, you may wish come consult with an expert, such as an entomologist, for clarification.

More on: Bugs typically Confused through Triatomine Bugs

Can I obtain Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, native a triatomine bug?

Yes. However, the transmission of the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite native a an insect to a human is no easy. The parasite that reasons the an illness is in the an insect feces. The an insect generally poops ~ above or close to a human while the is feeding on she blood, usually once the human is sleeping. Transmission of the parasite happens once poop is accidentally rubbed into the bite wound or into a mucous membrane (for example, the eye or mouth), and the parasite start the body.

It is essential to note that no all triatomine bugs space infected with the parasite that reasons Chagas disease. The likelihood the gettingT cruzi epidemic from a triatomine bug in the United says is low, even if the pest is infected.

Could ns be allergic to the bite that a triatomine bug?

Yes. The saliva the certain varieties of triatomines can reason an allergy reaction in part people. An allergic reaction can have severe redness, itching, swelling, welts, hives, or, rarely, anaphylactic shock (severe allergic reaction). People with a background of anaphylactic shock must consult a medical professional to obtain medication to usage in situation of a bite. The is vital to note that no all triatomines are infected through the parasite even though their saliva may cause an allergic reaction.

An allergy reaction after ~ a triatomine bite does not typical that you have actually been infected v the parasite T cruzi, the cause of Chagas disease. The swelling that may build at the site of parasite inoculation (where the parasite gone into the body through the skin or mucous membranes) is referred to as a chagoma. As soon as the parasite enters the body through the eye, the swelling approximately the eye is dubbed Romaña’s sign. Chagomas, consisting of Romaña’s sign, typically last much longer than an allergic reaction and are less likely to be severely itchy.

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What execute I execute if ns think ns may have actually Chagas disease?

If you suspect you have Chagas disease, consult her health-care provider. Or, to find a physician acquainted with diagnosis and treatment the Chagas condition and other parasitic infections, ask your basic practitioner or primary treatment physician because that a referral. You may wish to consider visiting a doctor who specialization in contagious diseases. To find a clinician in her area, please visit the American society of dry Medicine and also Hygiene’s Clinical Consultants Directory.