Kissing bugs, often referred to as cone-nose bugs, are insects found between the southern United States and South America. Kissing bugs can be disease vectors, meaning they can carry and transmit disease. These bugs need blood to survive, and are known to feed on rodents, bats, birds, pets, and humans. Few types of kissing bugs live in people's homes, but geography and animals may encourage them to do so.
Kissing bugs take shelter during the day, and feed at night, which is how people get bitten while sleeping. Kissing bugs can affect humans and pets by transmitting the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite through their feces, the cause of Chagas disease. This happens only rarely in the United States. Not all bugs can lead to infection because relatively few of them carry the parasite. A rash or allergic reaction to a bite does not mean you’ve been infected.
Kissing bugs start their life without wings and are less than 1/10 of an inch in size, but grow wings and become bigger as adults (3/4 - 1 1/4 inch). Adults can produce a strong odor when bothered, similar to stink bugs.
If you are unable to locate your county extension office, or if you have questions about product(s) you may be considering, please call NPIC at 800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a pesticide product in mind, have your label handy and click here for information about that product.
Through its county agents, the Cooperative Extension Service gives individuals access to the resources at land-grant universities across the nation. These universities are centers for research in many subjects, including entomology (the study of insects) and agriculture. Each county within the United States has an Extension office, which is staffed with agents who work closely with university-based Extension specialists to deliver answers to your questions about gardening, agriculture, and pest control. You can find the phone number for your local county extension office in the local government section (often marked with blue pages) of your telephone directory or by clicking on the map below.
AK | AL | AR | AZ | CA | CO | CT | DE | FL | GA | HI | IA | ID | IL | IN | KS | KY | LA | MA | MD | ME | MI | MN | MO | MS | MT | NC | ND | NE | NH | NJ | NM | NV | NY | OH | OK | OR | PA | RI | SC | SD | TN | TX | UT | VA | VT | WA | WI | WV | WY | Washington D.C. |