Has the Deadly ‘Kissing’ Bug Been Spotted in Minnesota?
It made news earlier this year for having shown up in Illinois, but has the potentially-deadly bug migrated here to Minnesota?
The bug in question here is the triatomine bug, but it's called the 'kissing' bug because it likes to bite you near your mouth or eyes-- it doesn't actually kiss you, thankfully. But, as this People magazine story notes, it still does some not-so-nice things to you.
"It typically bites people on the face, sucks the blood of animals and humans, and can carry Chagas disease, which causes fever, fatigue, diarrhea and vomiting," the story said. It can even turn deadly when, in rare cases, Chagas disease leads to potentially-deadly events like cardiac arrest and/or heart failure.
And, according to this CBS Chicago story, the 'kissing' bug was spotted earlier this spring in Illinois and was making its way toward Chicago-- the first time it was noted that far north. But has it migrated west and north over here to the Land of 10,000 Lakes?
Here's the good news: No it hasn't. At least, not yet, anyway. That's the word from this University of Minnesota Extention story, which noted that it's pretty unlikely the bug would venture this far north on its own. (While it HAS been spotted here in Minnesota a few times, ot most likely hitchhiked back here from people or plants that had been in locations like South America.)
However, the story did note a bug that's more common here in Minnesota-- the western conifer seed bug-- is sometimes confused with the more evil 'kissing' bug, but isn't nearly as nasty. (You can check out pictures of both bugs HERE.)