Potentially dangerous 'Kissing Bug' found in Lubbock home

Published: Aug. 7, 2015 at 10:30 PM CDT|Updated: May. 19, 2016 at 2:26 PM CDT
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Kissing Bug in Lubbock
Kissing Bug in Lubbock

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A kissing bug has been found in a South Central Lubbock home.

Bug Tech responded to the home on Thursday for a call concerning bed bugs, which Manager Director of Bug Tech, Michael Askew, said is normal.

However, one of the employees returned with a dead insect. The Texas A&M AgriLife Research lab confirmed that it was a kissing bug.

Kissing bugs feed on blood and carry parasites that cause Chagas disease in humans and dogs, Askew said.

Each time it bites a victim with its cone nose, it defecates. Once the bite is scratched, the feces spreads.

They are called kissing bugs because they are attracted to carbon dioxide, and Askew said they will most likely strike victims when they are  sleeping and bite around their eyes or mouth.

The side effects after a bite are what make them dangerous.

"Chagas disease is a disease that can attack the heart, nervous system, things like that," Askew said, "so it can become a public health issue."

They treated the Lubbock home with strong chemicals and feel confident the house is clear.

But where there is one kissing bug, Askew said there are more.

They recommend residents make sure their screen doors have no holes and that their home is tightly sealed, because kissing bugs are attracted to light.

Bug Tech can also spray homes to kill these bugs if they do enter. For more information, call their office at (806) 771-5142.

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