"We know now that the kissing bug is here, we have confirmed it and we actually have the kissing bug," Bug Tech manager and director Michael Askew said. "We don't know the extent of the problem just yet but we know if there is one, there is probably many more."

Kissing bugs are blood-sucking and disease spreading insects. It spreads Chagas disease, which causes damage to the heart, central nervous system and digestive system. The disease can be fatal. The confirmed find was in a southwest Lubbock home Thursday near 41st Street and Slide Road.

"The Kissing Bug is a vector of a disease called Chagas disease. It will transfer the Chagas disease through it's fecal matter because it defecates while it bites you," Askew said. "The customer mentioned that they possible had bed bugs or kissing bugs. My head technician went out and searched the couch. It found the kissing bug in the couch. We know now that the kissing bug is here, we have confirmed it and we actually have the kissing bug. It's definitely a concern, especially with it being a vector. That means they can transfer human diseases to humans."

Askew explains that they will try to sneak into your home any way possible. It will latch onto pets outside or enter in through broken screens or holes. He described the bug as typically an inch in length. The insect is related to the stink bug family and has the same classification as bed bugs.

"They're both blood-sucking insects. What they need to look for is any type of leaf-bug looking, stinkbug looking insect. These insects are drawn to the screen doors, the doors, anything that the light shines through to the home," Askew said. "Canines are a big problem, as well, because canines like to sleep outside. You have got to keep your area where your dog is clear and clean. If you have torn screens, get those fixed. If you have gaps in the doors, get those fixed. If you have any holes that lead into the house, get those fixed because they will try to find a way to get into the house."

If you believe that you find a kissing bug, contact professionals.

"It's very important that they call, especially if they think it's a kissing bug because the kissing bug can vector a human transmitted disease," Askew said.

For more information on Chagas disease, visit the World Health Organization website.
For more information on kissing bugs, visit the neuroscience website.
For Bug Tech contact information, click here.