Epidemiologists refer to "The Kissing Bug" as Triatomagrosecoride.
Dr. Edward Wozniak, with the Department of State Health Services in Uvalde, Texas, is collecting the bugs and testing them for Chagas. The results are becoming harmful to dogs and humans.
Wozniak said the bugs are finding their way into homes, passing the parasite in the bite wound through defecation. An event that will lead to heart disease.
"There has been a lot of human bites reported to our office. Usually what happens is the people find the bugs near the bedding or in the bedding," Wozniak said.
Particular concern in the spread of the disease is the time of year. As people load up their deer-feeders for hunting season, that puts more people at risk.
"Those cabins sit dormant for a long period of time," Wozniak said. "Sometimes there's food in there, food attracts rodents, the rodents draw bugs."
Wozniak notes, unlike what some believe, adult Kissing Bugs do fly and can reach you in your home and even in your bed.
Pat Godkin lost one dog to Chagas. Her other dog, Max, is in remission. She said it was difficult to find treatment for her dog and to find a clinic to test her too.
"The same week that I was there, another person that was going to him for the same thing and tested positive for the disease, so I know the disease is in people because we have seen it in Bandera County," Godkin said.
There are five versions of the Kissing Bug. You can see images what those bugs look like here (PDF).
You are urged to contact the Texas DHS Office so Wozniak can test it for the disease.
For more information regarding treating a dog with Chagas, go to www.centraltexasvet.com.