As the weather starts to warm in the Garden State, there's a chance that the insects known as triatomines could be headed straight for New Jersey. Triatomines, or "kissing bugs", were first discovered on the New Jersey/Pennsylvania border a few years ago.

While multiple sources claim they're normally confined to the southern part of the country, triatomines have made their way up north over the last few years. According to the Center of Disease control, NJ is marked as a potential landing spot for these anything-but-kissable flying insects.

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Kissing bugs are known to carry what's known as Chagas Disease caused by a parasite. Chagas disease exposes itself in phases. The acute phase demonstrates little to no symptoms other than localized swelling. It's in the chronic phase during which someone infected can experience intestinal and cardiac complications.

So, why are they referred to as kissing bugs? Normally, they bite humans on some part of the face. If their feces comes in contact with the bite area, eyes, or mouth, then that person is at risk of the infection. Nasty, right?

Yeah, it's pretty gross. People really started to take notice of them back in 2019 and they've been somewhat of a problem here in the Garden State and the surrounding areas ever since. If you're bit by one, you're encouraged to seek out medical attention immediately.

While it still may be too cool here in the Garden State to worry about kissing bugs right this second, there's a good chance they'll make another appearance this year. So, better to be on the lookout than caught unawares, right?


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