What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

strange bug in bangkok?
Location:  Thailand
August 8, 2010 4:59 am
This was a warning posted on facebook about a ”new” poisonous insect in Bangkok, Thailand. However I find this suspicious, considering there is no reference or name of species given. I’m wondering if this is a real threat.
this was the warning attached with the picture:
”this bug has reached Bangkok city. You cannot kill it with bug spray or pesticides! and do not smash it! apparently, if u kill it by squashing this bug, the juice within its self is going to call for back up! which will result in more of these bugs coming to your area where you killed the bug…
How to kill? get a tape or duck tape and rap the bug in it. Wait until it dies of lack of oxygen. Sounds cruel but you really do not want to get the toxins of this bug on your skin! (they don’t need to bite, just to sit on your skin and that is enough to do damage!) When it touches your skin just wipe it off right away and wash your hands and body parts that u know the bug touched. if u scratch it will spread like a wild fire on a dried grass land. ”
Elaine S.

Images of Paederus Rove Beetles and Contact Dermatitis from Facebook

Hi Elaine,
We don’t really want to contribute to any internet hysteria, but the images from Facebook you forwarded to us are real, and not limited to Bangkok.  We first learned of the Creechie Bug, the name locals from Cameroon West Africa use for a group of Rove Beetles in the genus
Paederus, when we received a photo of the insect and the resulting contact dermatitis back in 2008.  Missionaries in Cameroon sent us that account and we verified the information.  We have received several letters from Sub-Saharan Africa, but we have also gotten reports from Asia.  In 2009 we received a letter from Singapore, and one of the images in the photo-collage that is circulating on Facebook was attached to that letter, so What’s That Bug? has already published content from your attachment.  WTB? has also received images of Paederus Rove Beetles from Arizona and West Virginia, which led us to research the genus on BugGuide which provides this information:  “Paederus species contain a toxic chemical (pederin) in their hemolymph which causes contact dermatitis in humans, usually as a result of slapping the beetle and crushing it against exposed skin. The affected area becomes red, swollen, and itchy, causing the skin to peel when scratched. Outbreaks of Paederus dermatitis have occurred in Africa, Asia, and South America.   Historically, extracts of Paederus beetles have been used by the Chinese since at least the year 739 in the medicinal treatment of boils, nasal polyps, and ringworm.”  Some of the information contained in the Facebook warning is relevant.  You should not handle the Creechie Bug or Paederus Rove Beetle or you may experience contact dermatitis like the examples in the photos.  We do not recommend attempting to wrap them in duct tape as that would require handling.  Just avoid the insects, though that is not possible if one crawls into bed while you are sleeping, an occurrence that is responsible for some of the accounts of resulting contact dermatitis.  The claim of recruits being attracted by squashed Creechie Bugs might also have some limited credibility since insects are attracted by pheromones, but that claim is probably an exaggeration. We will reiterate that we do not want to contribute to internet hysteria so we hope that verifiable information will educate the public regarding a possible unfortunate encounter with a Paederus Rove Beetle.  As BugGuide indicates, there are outbreaks of reports of the contact dermatitis in Africa, Asia and South America that probably coincide with intermittent population explosions of the beetles.  It is also worth noting that a person does not need to avoid Bangkok because of the warning, and that staying away from Bangkok will not necessarily protect a person from possible contact with a Paederus Rove Beetle since they also occur in Africa, other parts of Asia and South America.  One is not even immune from attack by remaining in the comfort of one’s home in North America, since BugGuide reports data of sightings of Paederus Rove Beetles in numerous states, and it is fair to assume that it might also be encountered in other places in North America.  We would advise anyone who is unfortunate enough to become afflicted with contact dermatitis after an encounter with a Paederus Rove Beetle to seek prompt professional treatment.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

18 Responses to Creechie Bug: Paederus Rove Beetle Warning for Bangkok Thailand

  1. Gladys Alvarez says:

    I lived in Bujubura, Burundi, for 4 year, and I am very familiar with that insect. This morning, my son came to me and said: “there is a mosquito in the bathroom”, to my surprise, it was the “Acid Bug” (as they called it in Bujumbura). At first I thought, “No it cannot be”, but now I am very uncomfortable, after I found this article in the web.

  2. al says:

    I noticed that theres at least 100 of them outaide my house.esp where there is a light source coupled with some water or dampness.ive tried killing thwm using shieldtox outdoora.seem to work but its not possible to eradicate all.im really worried as i have a 9 month old child in the house.a few sightings of the bug indoors but so far eliminited. Shutting off lights do help.just wondering if theres any proper cure to eradicate to population alltogether.. btw my location is penang. Malaysia.tq

  3. Ras Br Vic says:

    Good day to all, searching the web for any information on ( Crichi) I found this site and am glad it leads at least for now to a clue. I live in Venice , Italy. Talking to my family back in Bamenda, north west region of Cameroon I was informed someone in the family got a bite and a swollen face due to contact with CREECHI. I’d liked but don’t know how to add the picture here to share the picture of what it looks like to be beaten by these bugs. Hoping some doctor or physician out there might direct me to relevant cure as the person involved is in serious pain and feels very
    Sick and uncomfortable.

  4. Chris MacLachlan says:

    If WTB does not endorse insect extermination why are allowing advertising for pest exterminators on your site?

    • bugman says:

      Because we have no control over the Google ads on our site. Google is a much more powerful presence on the internet than our lowly website that offers free information to the web browsing public without requiring any registration.

  5. Chris MacLachlan says:

    Very unfortunate that Google has this power. Positioning ads antipathetic to your mission is a bit shitty to say the least!

    • bugman says:

      Because we cannot control the ads, we have the disclaimer posted directly above the ads. That is our way of enforcing our own mission to educate the public regarding the importance of lower beasts.

  6. Peter says:

    I live in Bangkok in a condo in the centre of town, and myself a work colleague and another friend have been victims to this beetle. Its December 16, and it happend in the last month; I’m not sure if the time of year has any relevance.

    I have seen them several times in my apartment and I ended up in hospital and was treated with strong steroid cream and antihistamine to nurse the wounds which are similar to water blisters or burns. In my situation it was a bit like severe sunburn and it was very painful. The rash still hasn’t cleared up completely and its been several weeks. If I see them I immediately take a shower.

  7. Charlie Bambrook says:

    Oh my goodNess I am in Koh Phangan Thailand and I also was stung? Or rubbed on or whatever and it’s crazy. It really feels like a lighter was held to my temple and it’s clearly burned. This occurred a few days ago and is not getting any better does anyone know what besides steroid cram I can use?

    • Antuan says:

      I also live on Koh Phangan and had an opportunity to meet this bugs.. I just did my best not to touch the burns and in a week it disappeared by itself. Some people said the teatree oil can be a good remedy to apply to the burn. I hadn’t tried it myself..

  8. Chris says:

    I’m also in koh phangan and have it after brushing up against a leaf. Do ppl feel sick from this also (like just generally feeling low energy and mild cold symptoms) or is it just me?

  9. Chris says:

    I live in an apartment in Bangkok and I am saw some of these bugs about. Not knowing how dangerous they are I squashed some with my finger. 36 hours later the right side of my face was itching and blotches appeared on my face, neck, inner thighs and scrotum! my eye swelled up too. Immediately went to the hospital and was seen by a skin specialist. He knew straightaway what the cause was and gave me a course of steroid cream (Fucicort) and some oral antihistamine pills.He informed me that perhaps I would see a few more blotches appear on my body and he was right. 24 hours later some of the blotches have turned dark brown and the skin is flaky. Hopefully in a week or so I’ll be back to normal.

  10. I have been on the Thai island of Koh Samet for almost a month, and a week ago this beetle “got me” while asleep. I woke up with a big red rash from my armpit outward & 24 hrs later the dark brown flakey center appeared, painful; and he next day the rash began to spread. That’s when I went to the island clinic. The doc immediately knew the source. I was given antibiotics and special liquid soap & creme for this bug bite. Also urged to avoid the pool and the ocean for a while. He said it could take 3-4 weeks to heal, but 8 days later it was gone — I followed his instructions to a T. I’ve been coming to Thailand since my back-packing days in 1982, and this is my FIRST experience with such a toxic little bug! Great to know about the light attraction and window screens being ineffective, as I had no idea, searching my bed uselessly each night….so thx! Andrea

  11. Neil says:

    I live on the 30th floor of a condo building in Bangkok. In September 2016 I got the typical skin condition caused by this beetle. A barely noticeable red rash got worse over a few days until it looked like a large septic sore. The doctor gave me steroid and antibiotic cream and the sore got better over a week or so. Strangely there was no pain. The doctor said the insect that caused it live in waste land or gardens and can fly up to the 30th floor.

    Then yesterday (April 2018) I left the balcony doors open for an hour or so in the late afternoon because it was quite cool outside. In the evening I saw this bug crawling on my dining table. I killed it without touching it and flushed it down the toilet. It was quite hard to kill. My Juristic Office has contacted pest control. There is a garden outside the front of my building but I’m not sure whether pest control will be able to do anything.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *