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Hampton Roads' Biggest "Born & Raised" Know-It-All!

The Downtowner Answerman

Dear Downtowner Answerman,

What is a Kissing Bug? Are they nice and want to kiss and cuddle?
-- Waiting To Be Kissed, Maury Avenue

Dear Waiting To Be Kissed,

A Kissing Bug is the epitome of a creepy bug. No.  They are not nice and do not want to kiss and cuddle. Kissing bugs can carry a parasite that causes Chagas disease, but this is not common in the United States. Itching from the bites can be so bad that some people will scratch enough to cause breaks in the skin that get infected easily.  The bites can also cause a serious allergic reaction in some people. Bill Howell, a naturalist from California, has made a youtube video about the creepy crawler.

You can watch it here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7X0k9LtFMg

According to a story by Greg Hambrick of the Manassas Patch, Virginia is one of the states where Kissing Bugs have been found.

They are typically found underneath porches and cement, in wood piles or under bark, in outdoor dog houses or kennels and in animal burrows.To keep the possibility of this creepy crawler away from your home experts suggest that those concerned about the potential for infestations can seal cracks around their homes, remove food and debris piles near their homes, use screens on doors and windows, keep pets indoors at night, keep pet bedding clean and make sure yard lights aren’t close enough to a home to attract the bugs. A key fact in the article points out that their nickname comes from their favorite places to bite people. They bite humans around the mouth or eyes to consume blood, according to Texas A&M University.  The CDC reports there are 11 different species of the triatomine bug found primarily in the southern United States, but occurrences have been found as far north as Pennsylvania. Do not kiss this bug.

Dear Downtowner Answerman,

Will you help me move some furniture this Saturday?
-- On the Road Again, Colley Avenue

Dear On the Road Again,

No.

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June 2017
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