Beware! Arkansas Kissing Bug May Sound Cute but Could be Deadly
They may be tiny but their bite packs a punch that is deadly to not only its prey but to humans as well if left untreated.
The Kissing Bug( Triatoma Sanguisuga) may sound cute but they are far from being anything but cute, native to South and Central America, and Mexico kissing bugs are now commonly found in Arkansas and other portions of the United States including Texas and Oklahoma. They get their name because they are known for biting people on their faces near the mouth or eyes but they can bite you anywhere on your body, similar to a mosquito, they feed off your blood. The worst part about the kissing bug and this is really GROSS they poop on your face after biting which then can spread the disease Chagas.
While the bite is harmless it's the parasite the bug carries that can cause the disease which can become life-threatening if not treated. Symptoms can include swelling of the infection area, fever, fatigue, body aches, rash, and nausea. Most people that have the disease do not even know they have it. So, if you are bitten by a kissing bug it's best you contact your doctor immediately so that they can evaluate the situation. Chagas disease can turn into a lifelong problem if left untreated and could lead to cardiac abnormalities such as heart arrhythmias, heart failure, and sudden death. The good news is that according to the Arkansas Department of Health, the Chagas disease is rarely found in Arkansas and there are things you can do to your home to avoid this pest.
These bugs do look a lot like stink bugs but the difference is the color of their body, kissing bugs are usually dark brown or black with a more with more red, orange, or yellow stripes around the edges while stink bugs are normally just dark brown or black with no other colors.
Doctors have given this bug the nickname the silent killer or assassin bug.
For more on the kissing bug in Arkansas, please visit here.