What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I think my child was bitten by this bug
Location: Oklahoma City, OK, USA
April 16, 2011 3:28 pm
Hi, I think my 9 month old was bitten several times on the head by this bug… we found it on the bed skirt of his crib. Two days later, the bites have already almost completely healed, but if you happen to know what this is, and if it’s dangerous, I would sure be grateful!
April, 2011; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Thanks!
Signature: Joshua Brewer

Bloodsucking Conenose Nymph

Dear Joshua,
First of all, we need to divulge that we are artists and we do not have formal entomology backgrounds, nor science backgrounds for that matter.  We believe this is an immature Blood Sucking Conenose Bug in the genus
Triatoma.  Interestingly BugGuide has a matching photo and it is from Oklahoma.  You may also read more about Bloodsucking Conenose Bugs on BugGuide, which indicates they are also called Kissing Bugs, Big Bed Bugs, Mexican Bed Bugs or Bellows Bugs.  Here is some information from BugGuide:  “Generally nidicolous, occurring most often in rodent nests but also in bird nests, logs and man-made structures such as barns, coops, houses; some Neotropical spp. also in caves.”  BugGuide also indicates:  “Hematophagous, feeding on blood from tetrapods. Most common hosts are mammalian but avian, reptilian and amphibian hosts are recorded. The most common wild hosts are wood rats (Neotoma) but other common ones include armadillos, opossums and raccoons (possibly also skunks); synanthropic species may feed on livestock (horses, cattle, chickens), pets and humans.” More importantly for you, the:  “Bite can cause severe allergic reaction in many humans. Bite and defecation into bite can transmit Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, a protozoan. The most notorious vector is T. infestans, found in South America. The North American species are not normally thought to transmit the disease, though they can carry the parasite. (The North American species do not normally defecate at the site of the bite, which is what actually transmits the parasite–see Kissing bugs (Triatoma) and the skin. The CDC site says that rare vector-borne cases of Chagas disease have been noted in the so. US.”  Though we do not believe you need to worry about your child contracting Chagas Disease, however, we are not medical professionals and we feel a trip to the doctor might not be a bad idea.

Daniel,
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my query.  To be honest, I did not expect to receive a response with the number of emails you guys must get in a day.  But to get an answer back on the same day I submitted my question… amazing!
Thanks again for your time.
– Joshua W. Brewer

Hi again Joshua,
While it is true that we are unable to respond to all the mail that we receive, since we update the website on a daily basis, we do try make a few new postings each day.  This particular posting is also a public service notice of some importance and we would have been remiss to read it and then ignore it.  Your gratitude is appreciated.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Oklahoma
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One Response to Immature Blood Sucking Conenose

  1. drswanny says:

    In Oklahoma, it’s extremely likely that this is Triatoma sanguisuga.

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