How The Assassin Bug Got Its Name

Imagine a bug so terrifying that it drinks the insides of insects & animals alike, can paralyze a victim in under a second, and can camouflage itself using the remains of other insects. 

That would be the assassin bug, and it is a very real bug that lives up to its name. 

The assassin bug is the stuff of nightmares, but an even worse reality for the 8,000 human victims that die every year related to assassin bug attacks on humans. 

Our video version of this blog post includes fascinating & terrifying footage of the assassin bug at work. Click HERE to watch it now (proceed with caution). 

You can also download the audio-only podcast right here. 

“The Kissing Bug” 

The assassin bug is nick-named the “kissing bug,” but its kiss is far from that of a sweet lover. 

It is nick-named the “kissing bug” because of a long syringe-like mouth that it uses to inject deadly saliva into the victims, and the same long mouth is used to suck out the insides of its victims. 

The “Kissing Bug” typically hunts other insects, but also small animals. It is extremely effective at hunting and terrifying. 

Humans won’t die directly from a bite, but the assassin bug is a disease-vector species, meaning that deadly and painful diseases are transmitted via its bite. 

If you are bit by a kissing bug, it is advised that you seek out medical treatment immediately to reduce any complications of the diseases that may be passed to you. 

We were not able to find any records of deaths directly related to the deadly saliva being injected into humans - though the bite is reported to be quite painful, to say the least. 

The Assassin at Work

The assassin bug is no joke, and is a thing of nightmare for insects. Like a trained warrior, the assassin bug shows no mercy for its victims. 

When the assassin bug has identified a victim, it will suddenly grab onto the victim as quickly as possible, and hold it tight - so that it can’t escape. 

It will then use its long, syringe-like mouth to inject the bug with a toxic saliva. This saliva will put the bug to sleep almost immediately. 

Within a few seconds, a small bug or even larger bug such as a cockroach will be unable to move or resist what happens next. 

Note that the assassin bug can hunt small animals as well. In fact, when some assassin bugs are born they specifically hunt vertebrates because they want and/or need animal blood! 

Small animals may take a bit longer to paralyze, but the end result is the same: when injected they will be unable to resist what happens next. 

The assassin bug’s saliva - after paralyzing the victim - will then start to disintegrate the victim’s insides, turning it into a soup. 

After waiting for this process to happen, the assassin bug then uses the same needle-like mouth to drink the soup of the victim. This leaves the hollow outer shell of the insect (or animal) left. 

An estimated 99% of a creature’s body mass can be eaten by the kissing bug (though this is up for debate, and may be quite less actually). 

Camouflage & Trophies

The assassin bug doesn’t stop there - it is a trained warrior and knows what it must do next! 

After sucking up the insides of its victim and ensuring that it is fully dead, the assassin bug will then put the dead insect on its back, using it as a camouflage against other creatures, or using it to lure out other creatures to hunt. 

This serves both as a protection, as well as camouflage for hunting. Some have suggested that they use it as a trophy as well (ie. for mating purposes), and have mentioned that they put the heads of ants over them as a trophy. 

It helps them hunt because they can hide their scent, or draw out other insects. It serves as protection as well - for example if a gecko were to try snatch the insect, instead of snatching the insect bug it might snatch the dead carcass of the previously eaten insect above the assassin bug, giving it a split second to escape before the gecko realizes what happens! 

The Assassin & Studying

Humans must be careful when studying the assassin bug, as larger specimens can leave incredibly painful bites, but also put the victim at risk for catching a disease transmitted by the bug. 

The assassin bug can also be found in the United States of America. 

Got Wildlife or Pests? 

If you think you have a wildlife or pest related problem, don’t put yourself, your home, or your family at risk. 

Contact us immediately at 855-WILDLIFE or by visiting and let the experts handle it. 

We have extensive experience in dealing with all kinds of animals & pests, and will also restore any damage they may have caused. 

Thanks for reading! 
-Wildlife x Team International 


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