Entomology (Study of Bugs)/possible kissing bug?

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Question
underside of bug
underside of bug  

top side of bug
top side of bug  
We live in southern ca, and have found some strange type of bug occasionally at our apartment. recently i saw an article about kissing bugs in tx . could this be one? it is missing its legs , our dog was playing with it before we could remove it.

Answer
Hi, Katy:

There is a lot of hysteria going on now regarding kissing bugs, and pretty needlessly so.  However, that is not what you have here anyway.

The insect in the image is a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.  Here is a blog post I wrote about this species:

http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2013/01/true-bug-tuesday-brown-marmorated-stink.html

In homes they are a nuisance pest, but outdoors they have become a true agricultural pest.  They do not pose a threat to the health of humans or pets.

Here is information on the kissing bugs:

http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2015/11/new-report-on-chagas-disease-causes.html

Note there is a link to an even more informative blog post in the first paragraph.  If you live in an urban area, there is really little to worry about.

Happy Holidays to you!

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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