Assassin Bug – Spreading Deadly Disease

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There are a lot of bugs on this earth, and most of them are totally harmless. They’re not likely to hurt a human being, although they can make us freak out when we unexpectedly find one on us. And what is Assassin Bug?

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Assassin bugs (family Reduviidae) are predatory insects that are of great benefit to gardeners. They are proficient at capturing and feeding on a wide variety of prey including other bugs, bees, flies, and caterpillars. Prey are captured with a quick stab of the assassin bug’s long mouth parts. After being immobilized by a paralyzing toxin, the prey’s body fluids are then drawn through the assassin bug’s soda straw-like mouthparts.assassin-bug03

Most species of assassin bugs are gray to black or brownish in color, though some are brightly colored. Zelus is a common genus with several species in Texas. The milkweed assassin bug, Zelus longipes, is the most distinctive species.  At least one species of Zelushas been reported as a household invader in the fall and winter.assassin-bug04

As it name, this bug can cause the spread of a highly hazardous diseases called Chagas disease, leaving a parasite under the skin. Kissing bugs are most active at night and like to attack people while they’re sleeping. assassin-bug01

Symptoms of Chagas disease are mild at first. People who are bitten will experience flu-like symptoms. However, about one third of people who contract the disease develop much worse problems.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Rash, aches, fever, fatigue, swollen glands, and a loss of appetite occur in many people. In more severe cases, people experience abdominal pain, constipation, irregular heartbeat, and even sudden cardiac arrest.assassin-bug05

The best course of action if you suspect you’ve been bitten by one of these deadly pests is to get to the doctor as soon as possible. Avoid rubbing or scratching the bite and do not touch your eyes. There is no known cure for the disease, so trying to minimize the chance of infection is the best course of action.

The best offense is a good defense. If you see what you think might be a kissing bug, avoid it at all costs. And if you are bitten, call a medical professional immediately.

 

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