Physical Characteristics

The western bloodsucking conenose bug, also known as the kissing bug, the Mexican bed bug and, in Latin America, vinchuca or chinche, can range from 1/2 to 7/8 inches in length, with an elongated oval body shape, wings when folded into an “x” shape that don’t quite cover its abdomen and, like its name denotes, a cone-shaped proboscis, or nose. Its color is dark brown to black, sometimes with a tan edge to its abdomen.

Carpenter Ant

Western Bloodsucking Conenose Bug


This nocturnal insect, which can be found in the southern parts of California, is a bloodsucker, just like its better-known Hemipteran cousin the bed bug (Cimex lectularius). Unlike C. lectularius, however, this conenose bug is known to be a vector; it carries the protozoan infecting agent for Chagas disease, also called American trypanosomiasis, a major cause of heart disease in Latin America. The conenose bug will pierce the lips, eyelids or ears of a sleeping human victim with its snout to collect a blood meal, leaving little evidence unless the victim has an anaphylactic shock reaction, or develops itching or swelling. The Western bloodsucking conenose bug is often encountered during nights in the summer and fall, hiding in vegetation or in structural cracks by day. It is attracted to lights.


Keeping the Western bloodsucking conenose bug outside is a matter of practicing exclusion, or sealing off entry points in the house to keep it from coming in. Outside, sanitation measures – such as keeping the lawn cut and cleaning up potential harborages in piles of yard refuse and firewood stacks – can reduce the chances of conenose infestation. Your Clark Pest Control technician can advise you on proper exclusion and sanitation measures and, if there’s six-legged trouble afoot, will find the best treatment to resolve the problem.