The kissing bug is causing alarm in the American southwest for carrying a potentially dangerous disease. A Kentucky entomologist said the insect known for carrying a dangerous disease can be found in every county in the commonwealth.
The kissing bug, also known as the cone-nose, can carry the chagas disease, which can lead to headaches and fatigue to vomiting and diarrhea. Though there have been no confirmed cases in the state, University of Kentucky entomologist Lee Townsend said there has been some concern.
“We have had scattered reports from different areas out in the state just where people have found these kissing bugs and sent them in for identification.”
Townsend encouraged people to take samples of the kissing bug to their local county extension office for examination. He said there are a lot of look-a-likes that can get into homes during the winter.
And, according to Townsend, milder winters allow for greater survival rates, so there’s a possibility people will see more kissing bugs than normal.