Creature Feature

Kissing Bugs

Conenose or kissing bugs are blood-feeding insects that have a history of biting around people’s faces. Eleven species have been found in the United States – in Hawaii and the lower 29 states from California across to New Jersey. Most are found in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. 


Adult conenose or kissing bugs are about ½ to one inch long and fly. Most have a striped band around the edge of their body. They are mostly active at night and feed on a variety of vertebrate animals. Small vertebrate animals may be reservoirs for Chagas disease that conenose or kissing bugs can vector to people and dogs especially.


Conenose or kissing bug infestations are more common in outdoor animal housing or where construction isn’t tight (e.g., open crawl spaces). The presence of nymphs or numerous adults are signs of an infestation, not a single adult. Infestations are usually found around beds, where pets sleep or near rodent infestations. Target cracks and crevices near the host with microencapsulated or wettable powder pyrethroid formulations, which are the most effective treatment options.

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