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Assassin bugs are in the order of insects referred to as “true bugs” by biologists. Their colors vary among the thousands of species of Assassin Bugs, but all have a long, narrow head distinct from the wide body, long antennae, and nimble front legs good for grabbing other insects for food. Many have bright colors to warn predators that the bug is poisonous and not an easy meal. Found on the wall of my laundry room, near some plants, it was raining hard that afternoon.
A few species of assassin bug, in the subfamily of kissing bugs, can transmit Chagas’ Disease. The common name comes from the bug’s tendency to bite a sleeping human on the face. Parasites living inside the kissing bug can pass from the bug to the sleeping victim through the bite wound or through a membrane on the face. Over many years, this parasite will slowly cause detriment to the host that can eventually be fatal. One of the most harmful effects of Chagas’ Disease is chronic heart failure. Millions suffer from this disease every year from parts of Mexico to South America but the disease is not at all a widespread threat in Costa Rica. Areas of risk are almost always rural, and high-risk areas are often where human dwellings have thatched roofing or grass components.
Spotted on Oct 14, 2013
Submitted on Oct 15, 2013
and 1 other person favorited this spotting