Subject: Blood sucking bug
Location: Glendale, CA
September 4, 2013 9:37 pm
My wife was bitten probably about 10 days ago on the head and developed large wheals that felt like a boil. Several days later she had a series of hives on the left shoulder area that were extremely itchy and caused massive swelling of the surrounding tissue; there were other single lesions on the rt arm and 4 days later on the rt leg and top of the foot. These lesions improved on oral steroids and a topical high potency steroid cream.
We used a fogger last night and today found a dead bug next to the mattress on the platform bed engorged and when pressed a lot of blood was expressed. Checking photos on the web we tentatively identified it as the kissing bug – triatomine. We called the Public Health Dept in Los Angeles but they no longer have an entomologist! We live up in the hills – foothill of the San Gabriel range.
Signature: Peng Fan
We agree with your self identification. This is a Western Conenose, Triatoma protracta, and it is a member of the genus commonly called Kissing Bugs or Mexican Bed Bugs. See BugGuide for more information on the species and the genus. Though the chances of your wife contracting Chagas Disease are slim, she should probably see a physician for a professional opinion.