Triatomine Submission and Testing

Submitting a Triatomine Bug 

(Kissing Bug/Cone-Nose Bug/Vinchuca)
for Trypanosoma cruzi Testing

The Department of State Health Services, together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provides testing of triatomine bugs for the Chagas disease parasite. Trypanosoma cruzi causes Chagas disease in humans. It may also cause fatal infections in dogs and other animals. Due to laboratory workload and budget constraints at CDC, only bugs implicated in human exposure are accepted for testing. This free service is for Texas residents only. You may send bugs found outdoors that are not involved in human exposure to the Citizen Science Group at Texas A&M.

  1. If possible, please send a photo of the bug to before shipping. Many other bugs resemble kissing bugs. See the Texas A&M University Chagas page to view pictures of kissing bugs and non-kissing bugs.  
  2. Once you confirm your bug is a triatomine, complete the “Submitter,” "Specimen," and "Comments" portions of the “Texas Triatomine Bug Submission Form”. You can download the form here. If you have multiple bugs to submit, fill out a separate form for each.
  3. Place the bug, dead or alive, into a pill vial or other suitable container. Do not use alcohol or other preservatives. If you are submitting more than one bug, place each bug into a separate container. Label both the container and its corresponding submission form to make sure that they match.
  4. Put the container(s) in a mailing tube or padded envelope. Make sure it has enough padding if breakable and include the corresponding "Texas Triatomine Bug Submission Form(s)." Mail the package to the appropriate address depending on the shipping method.

If sending via U.S. Mail:                                              
Department of State Health Services                             
ATTN:  Zoonosis Control - MC 1956                          
P.O. Box 149347                                                            
Austin, TX 78714-9347                                                 

If sending via UPS/FedEx/Etc.
Department of State Health Services
ATTN: Zoonosis Control – MC 1956
1100 W 49th St
Austin, TX 78756

Result Reporting

Regional DSHS Zoonosis Control personnel will communicate test results to the original submitter. This is usually within 2–5 weeks of receiving the specimen (laboratory workload at CDC dictates turnaround time). 

Interpret results with caution:

  • Exposure to a triatomine infected with T. cruzi does not mean that transmission of the parasite occurred.
  • Exposure to a triatomine that tests negative may not rule out infection IF there are other triatomines present in the environment (e.g., living inside the home).
  • Individuals exposed to T. cruzi-infected triatomines should discuss Chagas disease testing options with their medical provider.

Contact Information

For information about triatomine bugs and Chagas disease, contact the DSHS Regional Zoonosis Control Office for your area. 

If you have questions about submitting a triatomine bug, please email the DSHS Zoonosis Control Branch at