Kissing Bug bites girl on face

Subject: Could you tell me what this is?
Location: Northern Kentucky / Cincinnati area
February 21, 2014 11:07 am
This bug was found this morning on my daughter’s curtain (after she woke up with a bite on her face). It looks somewhat like a fallen leaf in Autumn with it’s coloring. It’s concave. It had no scent while alive or after I killed it.
Signature: curious mother

Kissing Bug
Kissing Bug

Dear curious mother,
This is an immature Eastern Blood Sucking Conenose Bug,
Triatoma sanguisuga, and along with other members of its genus, it is also known as a Kissing Bug because they frequently bite sleepers on the face, especially near the lips.  Though we do not think there is a high risk, you should be aware that Kissing Bugs, especially the species in the tropics, are known for spreading Chagas Disease.  You might want to get your daughter some medical attention and mention Chagas Disease to the physician.  This individual is an immature nymph, and it might have siblings lurking in your home.  See a matching image on BugGuideBugGuide also notes:  “Sometimes bites humans, and the bite may be severe, causing an allergic reaction.”  See the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for additional information on Chagas Disease.

Thank you.

7 thoughts on “Kissing Bug bites girl on face”

  1. I saw a red and black bug similar to this near my car. It was larger though. I had no idea kissing bugs could look like this. My question is- How do you tell the difference in a kissing bug and a stink bug?? By the photos they look almost alike. I don’t want to kill an innocent stink bug by accident.

    • The two are classified in the same order, so it is difficult to provide a nonscientific explanation of the differences.

    • The posting upon which you commented contains an image of a Kissing Bug. You would probably feel irritation from a bite.


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