What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I saw this bug
Hi there, I am originally from Argentina but I live in Texas now. Today I found this bug that in Argentina we call "vinchuca" and transmit a disease called "chagas" is a very bad disease. Someone told me that is a inoffensive beetle but it looks like the vinchuca (or kissing bug). The picture is not very good because I was scared. Can you tell me what it is?
Thank you
Adriana

Hi Adriana,
We also have a Kissing Bug that transmits Chagas Disease, but your photo looks like a Wheel Bug, one of the Assassin Bugs. It is difficult to be certain based on your photo, but the distinguishing feature is the coglike “wheel” on the thorax. Wheel Bugs are related to Kissing Bugs, and both are true bugs, or Hemipterans. Wheel Bugs are not known to be disease vectors, but they can bite painfully if mishandled. They are beneficial since they destroy many garden pests.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

4 Responses to Wheel Bug

  1. Al says:

    Adriana, I found one last summer outside, and it looked like the Vinchuca to me, (I lived in Bolvia once). I live in the Texas Rio Grande Valley, and I did here on the news last summer that there were some found here. Make sure they don’t bite you on the lip, as you know about Chagas disease.

  2. Al says:

    excuse my poor typing!
    I do know how to spell!

  3. drswanny says:

    The insect in this photograph is indeed a wheel bug.

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