What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a kissing bug?
Location: North Central Alabama
May 1, 2016 12:56 pm
We found this bug in our home in Alabama and are concerned that it might be a kissing bug. We would appreciate any information on what bug this is and if it is a kissing bug, what do we do to insure we don’t have any more in our home?
Signature: Alabama Fan

Kissing Bug

Bee Assassin

Dear Alabama Fan,
We have gotten numerous identification requests over the past year since there has been increased news coverage on Kissing Bugs and most have proven to be other species.  In your case, though your image lacks critical clarity, it appears that this really is an Eastern Blood-Sucking Conenose Bug or Kissing Bug,
Triatoma sanguisuga.   Tropical members of the genus are most likely to spread Chagas Disease, but BugGuide does note:  “Sometimes bites humans, and the bite may be severe, causing an allergic reaction.”  Insects can enter homes through open windows and doors, gaps in the frames of windows and doors, and cracks in the foundation.  You should do a thorough inspection to determine the likeliest places an insect might gain entry and seal those points.

Thank you very much for the prompt response. My husband killed it and thankfully no one has any bites of any kind.  We will definitely be checking for any entry points and seal them.
I truly appreciate your help.

Update:  After a comment from Cesar  Crash and then Alabama Fan agreeing with Cesar, we are making a correction to the identification of the insect we now believe to be a Bee Assassin.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Alabama

8 Responses to Bee Assassin

  1. It looks to me like it can be an Apiomerus species simmilar to A. crassipes http://bugguide.net/node/view/656610/bgpage

  2. Alabama Fan says:

    I am the original poster, and I think the photo at your link looks the most like what my husband killed in our home. We have noticed a large number of bumble bees around our home this spring. Are these bugs dangerous to humans? I will sleep a lot better tonight if your answer is NO! Thanks!

    • bugman says:

      Your question has us a bit confused as you mention several insects. Kissing Bugs might be dangerous if they are carrying Chagas Disease, though that possibility is not too great in the U.S. Chagas tends to be a bigger problem in the tropics. Kissing Bugs may bite and the bite may cause localized pain and irritation. The same could be said of Apiomeris species, Bee Assassins, but in their case, there is no danger, just pain and irritation. Stings from Bumble Bees are not common, and they might be dangerous if a person has an allergic reaction.

      • Even in Brazil, the fear for “barbeiros” is much larger than the threat they pose. I live in São Paulo, one of the largest cities in the world, they are not common here, and people mistake any kind of bugs, curculionids, cerambycids, even a ladybird larva for triatomines. Kissing bugs are more common in Northeastern Brazil, in the semi-arid, where many people live in wattle-and-daub houses. There, 0,8% of them were infected in this work: http://scielo.iec.pa.gov.br/pdf/rpas/v1n4/v1n4a09.pdf

  3. Alabama Fan says:

    Oops! I was so excited that the bug we found could be something other than a blood sucking cone head bug that I wrote my reply in too big a hurry and didn’t re-read it to make sure it made sense before I sent it! After looking at the link from Cesar, and comparing we have decided that it is a bee assassin. It makes sense because we have noticed a large number of bumble bees in our yard this year so there’s plenty of prey for it. I’m so relieved that the bee assassin prefers insects as prey and that we and our dog aren’t the primary targets for a meal! I hope we never see another one inside our house and if we see any outside we will leave them alone so that we won’t risk getting a painful bite. Thank you for this site and for your answers!

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