Blood-sucking triatomine bugs, commonly called Kissing Bugs, transmit Trypanosoma cruzi from person to person. There are three genera of triatomine bugs: Triatoma, Rhodnius, and Panstrongylus. The species that most effectively transmits T. cruzi is Rhodnius prolixus. The species that most commonly transmits T. cruzi in North America is Triatoma protacta. (

Triatoma infestans

Rhodnius prolixus

Panstrongylus megistus

Triatomine bugs prefer habitats that are dark and enclosed, yet near to a mammalian food-source. For these reasons, mud-walled, thatched-roof houses are favorable nesting sites for these bugs. (