Will a Cold Front Kill Louisiana’s Worry of Deadly Kissing Bugs?
I have started to see pictures of the deadly kissing bug all over my newsfeed. People in the Ark-La-Tex are sharing warnings of one of the most deadly bugs in the country.
With so many people in the Ark-La-Tex stepping out into the woods hunting, it should probably be on the top of everyone's mind, bug bites.
A friend of mine has been out just about every weekend with her boyfriend hunting and the poor girl has come back with some battle scars. Yes, I am talking about bug bites. It's not like she didn't submerge herself in mosquito repellent, sometimes the repellent falls short of its job.
After a morning of hunting, many people come back looking like they just failed an episode of "Naked and Afraid" Louisiana edition.
It's not just mosquitos and snakes people are worried about, the kissing bug isn't just a Louisiana legend, it's real and it's deadly. Keep in mind there is a big difference between love bugs and kissing bugs. One bug will give you the kiss of death.
According to my friend who is an avid hunter kissing bugs come out at night, he claims they're basically nocturnal.
What is Chagas disease?
Well, it has a few different names, it is also called American trypanosomiasis. In simple terms, it's a tropical parasitic disease that you and I can contract when a kissing bug bites us.
According to the CDC, Chagas disease may cause:
"Heart rhythm abnormalities that can cause sudden death"
"A dilated heart that doesn’t pump blood well"
"A dilated esophagus or colon, leading to difficulties with eating or passing stool"
If you think it's not that big of a deal and that it mainly happens in South America think again. Louisiana sees the most cases of Chagas Disease. This isn't good at all. J&J Exterminating's website claims "While 13 disease-spreading kissing bugs can be found in the lower half of the US, only one kissing bug species can be found in Louisiana, Triatoma sanguisuga. Although other southern states are home to as many as seven kissing bug species, Louisiana sees a disproportionate number of Chagas disease cases."
Can we ease up on the bug spray if the colder temperatures start to take over?
According to the Ohio State University, we can drop our worry about the deadly kissing bug once temperatures drop. Kissing bugs thrive in hot weather, they all end up dying during the cold months.
If you're thinking how do they come back every year, you forget the mighty eggs laid that carry on the deadly disease. Those eggs hatch in the spring and continue to wreak havoc all over Louisiana.