Dangerous ‘kissing bug’ in Texas could cause deadly disease for you or your pets, experts warn – KSAT San Antonio

The year of 2020 is certainly one for the books. From murder hornets to aggressive rats, theres another insect that Texans particularly may require to be concerned about– the “kissing bug.”
According to a report from AgriLife Today, entomologists at Texas A&M have actually seen an increase in kissing bugs– insects that bring a parasite that might cause Chagas disease, which might be fatal to animals and human beings.
Scientist stated theyve already collected over 300 kissing bug specimens in one area, where simply last year, they just discovered six. The collection website is situated near Mission, Texas, which is approximately a four-hour drive south of San Antonio.
How to acknowledge a kissing bug
Kissing bugs look relatively similar to cockroaches and are known to feed on mammals blood, according to a previous KSAT 12 report.
Theyre found across the southern U.S., Mexico, Central America and South America, particularly throughout the hottest months of summer, according to AgriLife experts. With the Texas heat in full swing this month, among the most popular months of the year, this is when the bugs are most active.
Kissing bugs can grow to be longer than the width of a cent and both their mouths and heads are cone-shaped.
Kissing bug compared to U.S. cent. (Photo thanks to Texas A&M University Agriculture and Life Sciences). These bugs tend to feed on blood in the evening, when individuals and animals are asleep, according to officials. Bites are generally pain-free, and lots of do not even realize theyve been bitten.
The bites can turn lethal if the bug is infected with a parasitic disease called Trypanosoma cruzi and defecates into the open bite or any other open wound, according to a previous KSAT 12 report.
About 50% -60% of these bugs in Texas are infected with the disease, according to researchers.
AgriLife authorities said the bugs are attracted to lights and can feed upon canines, wild mammals, birds, human beings and other bugs, such as crickets.
According to Texas A&M AgriLife professionals, here are the areas where youll probably discover the bugs:

Underneath patios
Between rocky structures
Under cement
In rock, wood, brush piles, or underneath bark
In rodent nests or animal burrows
In outdoor canine homes or kennels
In chicken cages

For more realities on kissing bugs, click on this link.
What to understand about Chagas disease
The primary threat associated with these bugs is that they carry Chagas illness, which might be fatal for you or your animal.
According to AgriLife scientists, signs of the disease include the following:

Fever
Tiredness
Body aches
Headache
Rash
Anorexia nervosa
Diarrhea
Throwing up

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Some people might not experience any signs at all, and about 25% of individuals they infect with Chagas establish major chronic illness, researchers stated.
Still, if you have been bitten by a kissing bug, its suggested to seek additional medical care for additional screening.
To check out the complete report from AgriLife, click on this link.

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