Subject: Unknown bug- help!
Location: King George VA
April 5, 2016 5:38 pm
I live in King George Virginia and came across this bug on my siding by my front door yesterday, April 4, 2016. I have heard horrible things about the kissing bug and am freaked out, is this one of them? Some people have said yes it is others have said it’s an orange assassin bug p. Barberi. Are kissing bugs and assassin bugs the same thing??
We will attempt to remedy your confusion. This is a Sycamore Assassin Bug in the genus Pselliopus, probably Pselliopus barberi. Though it might bite if carelessly handled, it is a beneficial predatory species that poses no danger to humans. Assassin Bugs are all members of the family Reduviidae, and Kissing Bugs are members of the family and further classified in the Subfamily Triatominae. That means all Kissing Bugs are Assassin Bugs, but not all Assassin Bugs are Kissing Bugs.
Thank you for clarifying, and relieving my fears! So the sycamore assassin bug doesn’t carry Chaga’s disease, correct?
Correct. Also it is worth noting that while Kissing Bugs can carry Chagas Disease, it is not very common in the US. It is a much bigger problem in Latin America.