Experts: ‘Kissing bugs’ found in Southwestern states
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – As the weather cools down, a parasite may try to sneak into your warm home.
The creatures are called ‘kissing bugs’ because they are attracted to carbon dioxide.
When you breathe out, the bugs will often bite near your mouth.
“That’s why they call them ‘kissing bugs,’ because they’ll go up on your face and kiss you on the mouth,” said Richard Fagerlund.
‘Kissing bugs’ have been spotted across the bottom half of the country and researchers want to get the word out to the Southwest.
In Central America and Mexico, they spread Chagas, a disease that can kill if it is not diagnosed and treated.
Fagerlund says the disease is not something people in the United States need to be worried about but you should still try to prevent them from getting in your home.
Experts say you should break up any rats’ nests you see because those are one of the bugs’ favorite places to feed.
Also, check under flower pots and seal cracks under doors and windows.
If you do find one, don’t squish it because their fluids can spread the disease.
Instead, put a cup on top of it and put it into a bag.