If You Find This Bug In Your Home, Seek Medical Attention
The CDC's warning about the dangers of the 'kissing' bug have been making the rounds on the Internet and is one of the few things online you should trust.
These bugs have been around the North American continent for roughly 12, 000 years, so there's no invasion to worry about. However, the triatomine bug carries a parasitic virus that causes Chagas disease. The symptoms of Chagas disease mimic those of a flu, but can lead to intestinal or coronary problems and even death.
Kissing bugs are prevalent in 28 states, including Louisiana. They're roughly the size of a penny and transmit disease - causing bacteria by sucking the blood of a host and by defecating near the wound.
The CDC advises that kissing bugs should not be touched with bare skin, and that areas where the bugs have been found should be cleaned with bleach.
Because most indoor structures in the United States are built with plastered walls and sealed entryways to prevent insect invasion, triatomine bugs rarely infest indoor areas of houses. Discovery of immature stages of the bug (wingless, smaller nymphs) inside may be an indication of infestation. When the bugs are found inside, they are likely to be in one of the following settings:
Near pet resting areas
In areas of rodent infestation
In and around beds and bedrooms, especially under or near mattresses or night stands
If you believe you've been bitten by a kissing bug or have seen them in your home, a doctor's visit is a good idea. Read more about kissing bugs and Chagas disease by clicking here and be sure to watch the video above.