Friday, July 05, 2013


Every morning I find bugs floating in the pool. They range from flies, gnats, bees, wasps, dragon flies and various types of flying small beetles. One small beetle will swim to the bottom if he thinks you are after him. So suddenly in the last few days I've been finding these large black beetles and I asked neighbors what they are.

They call them Mayates and they bite and can make you real sick. Most of my neighbors generalize about creatures and are fearful of a number of things that are not harmful like snakes and spiders. One neighbor told me about a person that was bitten by a Mayate of a different color, became very sick for years and the medicine to treat it was very expensive.

I started to search and mostly found Mayate to be a negative racial slur but somewhere in there linked it with a Vinchuca who is a carrier of whatever results in Chagas disease. Chagas sounded exactly what my neighbor described. So I ended up unsure if this beetle could transmit the disease or just a similar one. Anyway an interesting search adventure with some Chagas info below and a YouTube video song which shows the importance.  It may be a problem here.

In Chagas-endemic areas, the main mode of transmission is through an insect vector called a triatomine bug. A triatomine becomes infected with T. cruzi by feeding on the blood of an infected person or animal. During the day, triatomines hide in crevices in the walls and roofs. The bugs emerge at night, when the inhabitants are sleeping. Because they tend to feed on people's faces, triatomine bugs are also known as "kissing bugs". After they bite and ingest blood, they defecate on the person. Triatomines pass T. cruzi parasites (called trypomastigotes) in feces left near the site of the bite wound.
Scratching the site of the bite causes the trypomastigotes to enter the host through the wound, or through intact mucous membranes, such as the conjunctiva. Once inside the host, the trypomastigotes invade cells, where they differentiate into intracellular amastigotes. The amastigotes multiply by binary fission and differentiate into trypomastigotes, which are then released into the bloodstream. This cycle is repeated in each newly infected cell. Replication resumes only when the parasites enter another cell or are ingested by another vector. (See also: Life cycle and transmission of T. cruzi)


John Calypso said...


Steve Cotton said...

We do have Chagas here. But it is not transmitted by a beetle. It is passed through the excrement of a true bug -- a type of assassin bug. The bugs are most prevalent in thatched roof houses where they hide, and then emerge in the night for blood. Because the disease is spread through bug excrement, they are not good house guests.

sparks said...

Pretty much what I thought .... that this was a different bug. The disease is known to effect the poor who live in mostly open housing ... and we certainly have those here

Steve Cotton said...

I was thinking that very thing. Pinal Villa would be a breeding ground. Your neighbors are justified in being wary of things that crawl. One of these days I am going to discover that my cavalier attitude toward wildlife has its own price.

Barbara said...

Sheesh, iI might never come to Melaque again!

The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

Sparks Mexico Web
Manzanillo Information
House building in Pinal Villa

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