July 23, 2024

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Uh Oh, Delaware! “Kissing Bugs” Found Carrying Potential Disease

2 min read
Yikes! Kissing bugs, known to carry Chagas disease, found in Delaware homes for the first time. Learn what these creepy crawlies are, the risks, and how to protect yourself.
Kissing bugs

Uh Oh, Delaware! "Kissing Bugs" Found Carrying Potential Disease

Let’s face it, Delaware isn’t exactly known for its exotic wildlife. But that might be changing. Recently, two creepy crawlies called “kissing bugs” were found chilling in homes in northern Delaware, and get this – one of them was infected with a parasite that can cause a serious illness.

What are kissing bugs?

These little bloodsuckers, also known as triatomine bugs, have a rather unfortunate feeding habit. They love to feast on the faces of animals (and sometimes humans) around the lips and eyes, hence the name “kissing bug.” The real trouble is that some kissing bugs carry a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas disease.

Chagas disease: cause for concern?

Chagas disease is no walk in the park. It can lead to heart problems down the line, though it’s important to note that catching it from a kissing bug bite is pretty uncommon. Doctors say early treatment with medication can usually knock out the infection before it causes any major issues.

Why are kissing bugs in Delaware a big deal?

Finding these guys this far north is unusual. Normally, kissing bugs are more common in Latin America. This discovery is a bit of a wake-up call for researchers, who are now looking into how these bugs might be spreading and how big of a threat they might pose.

Should I be worried?

Probably not. The chances of getting Chagas disease from a kissing bug in Delaware are still very low. But, it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Keep your house free of clutter where kissing bugs might hide (think around beds and furniture)
  • Screen windows and doors with tight-fitting mesh
  • Check for signs of bugs around your home, especially in areas where pets sleep

If you’re ever bitten by a bug you don’t recognize, it’s always best to see a doctor to be safe.


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