You might think “kissing bugs” sound adorable, but that is not the case. These bugs spread Chagas disease which can be fatal. Cases have been confirmed in 25 states, most notably in the South.
Kissing bugs can hide under cement, dog houses and kennels, and cracks within a house. They could bite on a person’s lips or face during sleep, which can pass parasitic feces into the bloodstream. This can lead to a rash, fever, body aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes and swelling around the eyes.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 300,000 cases of Chagas in the U.S.
There is currently no vaccine for this disease. The ailment can also return in the form of heart disease which can be fatal. To prevent this, make sure you keep your pets indoors overnight. You can also install “bug zapper” lights and fix any cracks in your home’s foundation. Make sure your doors are shut tightly and your windows are properly sealed.
It is difficult to treat this disease, but if you feel you might have Chagas, visit a doctor immediately. Be careful out there!