Conenose bugs can vector a protozoan, Trypanosoma cruzi, that causes Chagas disease in humans. While conenose bugs do bite humans, the protozoan is transmitted via the bug's feces, rather than through bites.
Conenose bugs are in the Reduviidae family, a group of insects known for a sturdy body and large proboscis. Most reduviids are beneficial as insect predators, and include various species of assassin bugs. Conenose bugs are easily confused with other assassin bugs as well as bugs with similar body shapes from other insect families. Conenose bugs prefer sheltered habitat such as indoors, beneath porches, in wood or brush piles, and in outdoor structures such as dog houses and chicken coops.
If you suspect you've encountered a conenose bug in your home or landscape, do not touch the bug with bare hands. Collect the specimen in a sealed container or take a picture and send it to your local UC Cooperative Extension office, UC Master Gardeners, or county agricultural commissioner for identification.
The insects below are not kissing bugs:
Author - Associate Director for Urban & Community IPM/ Area IPM Advisor
Author - Director