Kissing Bugs

The adult is about one inch long with an elongated head and beak. The body is dark brown to black; the abdomen is wide and has flattened sides sticking out beyond the margins of the wings.

Eggs are laid in cracks and crevices; hatching occurs in eight to 30 days; nymphs develop though five instars. Development can require up to three years to complete.

Food. The name “kissing bugs” comes from their habit of biting and taking blood around the mouth. They feed on the blood of humans and other animals.

Habits. These blood-sucking insects can transmit Chagas’ disease (Trypanosoma cruzi) to small animals, dogs, and man. Adults are attracted to lights at night. Feeding occurs at night when the host is sleeping; the adults and nymphs are able to detect heat and carbon dioxide from their hosts.


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