Kissing Bugs (image) The University of Texas at El Paso Share Print E-Mail Caption Chagas is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted to animals and people by insect vectors known as kissing bugs. The bugs, which are found in our area, are shown in these lab dishes. Credit JR Hernandez, UTEP Communications Usage Restrictions Please credit. Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.