Blood Sucking Cone-Nose Bug

Assassin/Kissing Bug
Hello. I was wondering if you could help me determine the difference between Kissing Bugs and Assassin Bugs. I understand that Kissing Bugs feed on vertebrates while Assassins feed on invertebrates, but I’m not entirely certain what this bug eats. They are pretty common around my house in the Phoenix area of Arizona. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Hi Nick,
Sorry about the delay, but it is impossible to answer every letter. All Kissing Bugs are Assassin Bugs in the family Reduviidae, but the reverse is not true. This is a Blood Sucking Cone-Nose Bug, also known as a Kissing Bug in the genus Triatoma. It can spread Chagas Disease.

Kissing Bug Update
(11/09/2006) Kissing bug (Triatoma dimidiata)
Hello! This summer I was fortunate enough to research Kissing bugs, T. dimidiata. I noticed on your website some information on them, but I thought I would clarify some misconceptions on these very cool creatures! 1st, they transmit Chagas disease not by their bite, but by their feces. As they feed on sleeping creatures, they can bite for up to an hour. During this time, they excrete. The victim later scratches the itchy bite, pushing the feces into the skin. Also, while the insects live throughout the Americas, cases of Chagas disease are reported almost exclusively in South America. It can also be spread through food and contact with the mucus membranes after touching the feces. Kissing bugs are attracted to CO2 and heat, like mosquitos. They fly only when hungry, and only the adults fly. They are not to be confused with very similar-looking assassin bugs that feed on plants. In domestic conditions, the insects live usually in woodpiles or in wooden bedframes in homes near the woods with lots of dirt and dust. They dislike moist conditions. I included a powerpoint made for educative purposes in Latin America with some nice pictures… I love your website!

3 thoughts on “Blood Sucking Cone-Nose Bug”

  1. In the 50’s when at a campfire camp in South Texas we had bugs which we called blood suckers. It is like or part of the kissing bug. I remember what they looked like and looked a lot the same. I was bitten during the night. But didn’t make me sick. My Mom went through all my clothes and bedding before taking them in the house. Are they the same?


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