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CDC Warns of Chagas Spread Potential

They’re called “Kissing bugs,” but they’re anything but friendly.

Warnings about the Triatominae from the Centers for Disease Control have extended north into Indiana–and include Kentucky and Illinois.

They’re carriers of a parasite that can be transferred while the bug is feeding off blood.

Most of the time they’re found in outdoor cracks and crevices; beneath porches; under cement; in rock, wood, brush piles, or beneath bark.

They also like to reside in outdoor dog houses or kennels, and if they feed from you or your pets, it could spread a disease called Chagas.

“You typically don’t have much symptoms right away but ten years later, a portion of people will develop an enlarged heart or enlarged colon,” said pest control expert Scott Pinney.

Experts suggest minimizing areas whey they can hide, learning how to recognize what they look like, and keeping an eye on pets outdoors. They also ask to report any finds to the CDC or local health departments

The likelihood of contracting the disease is much lower than other insect infections.

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