Public Health Vectors and Pests

 Kissing Bug

Common Name Kissing bugs, Conenose bugs, Triatomines
Scientific Name Triatoma
Size 1/2 to 3/4 inches long
Colour Dark brown to black
  • It sometimes has a small tan edge around its abdominal region.
  • The wings are held flat over the back at rest.
  • The head has 4 segmented antennae and a 3 segmented beak that extends backward below the body.
Habitat The insect's usual habitat is in or near the nests of packrats or other rodents.
  • Triatomines undergo incomplete metamorphosis(includes three distinct stages: the egg, nymph, and the adult stage)
  • A wingless first instar nymph hatches from an egg and passes successively through 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th instars.
  • Finally, the fifth instar turns into an adult, acquiring two pair of wings.
Disease Transmitted Chagas Disease
  • Swelling of the face
  • Fever
  • Swelling of other areas and sometimes nervous systems

Bites: itching, swelling, red blotches, welts, rashes, fainting spells, nausea, diarrhea and anaphylactic reactions

Type of Damage Bites from kissing bugs normally occur at night while their prey is asleep. The bite is usually painless, but may swell and itch for a couple of days.
Sources / Breeding Breeding areas such as rodent and bird nests and trash piles in or near houses
  • Use weather stripping and caulking to close cracks and crevices
  • Seal openings where bugs can get it
  • Fix structural problems that allow entry
  • Screen all windows and vents
  • Insect proof pet entrances
  • Keep lights off at night by doors, windows and on patios when not needed
  • Remove rodent nests that are close to your home
  • Remove firewood piles and debris
  • Check beds at night and shake out bedding
  • Keep beds at least one foot from walls
Chemical Treatment
  • Make sure to try to remove hiding places and seal openings before you use chemicals.
  • A total release pyrethrin spray and insecticide dusts may help.

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