Triatoma sanguisuga, also known as the Eastern Bloodsucking Conenose or the Mexican Bed Bug, is an insect of the Triatominae subfamily, known as kissing bugs. Like other species in this subfamily, T. sanguisuga is known to bite and feed off of humans at the mouth during sleep. This bite is painful and can cause adverse effects such as swelling, feelings of faintness, nausea, and vomiting.
T. sanguisuga is found throughout North America, particularly in the American South (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia), as well as in portions of South America. They are generally about 1–2 cm long and brown or black, with an alternating pattern of brown/black and red/orange stripes around the abdomen. They are winged and have kinked antennae and a slender proboscis used for feeding.
T. sanguisuga is a known carrier of T. cruzi, and therefore is a vector for transmission of Chagas disease to humans. However, because the disease is transmitted through the feces, and because the North American variety does not defecate while feeding, Chagas disease is primarily spread by the species only in South America, where the insect does defecate during feeding.
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