Are Rove Beetles Dangerous? Uncovering the Truth

Rove beetles, belonging to the Staphylinidae family, are a large and diverse group of insects with around 4,000 species in North America alone.

These beetles are known for their peculiar appearance, characterized by their elongated bodies, short wing covers, and scorpion-like posture when threatened or disturbed [1].

Are Rove Beetles Dangerous
Gold and Brown Rove Beetle

They can be found in various habitats, such as soil surfaces, under rocks, and near compost piles [2].

Surprisingly, rove beetles play an essential role as predators in the ecosystem.

They target various insect pests, such as maggots, caterpillars, grubs, aphids, mealybugs, and mites [3].

With such an appetite for agricultural pests, rove beetles are generally considered helpful organisms rather than a danger.

Rove Beetles Overview

Rove beetles are part of the insect group and belong to the Staphylinidae family. They fall under the Coleoptera order, which is the largest of all beetle orders.

With over 4000 species in North America alone, rove beetles are diverse and widespread.

These predatory beetles have some unique features:

  • Elongated bodies
  • Shortened elytra (wing covers)
  • Abdominal segments exposed

In appearance, rove beetles vary in size from ¼ to 1 inch and can be shiny brown or black.

Rove Beetle

They are often found scurrying on the soil surface in various habitats and can be confused with small scorpions due to their habit of raising their tails when disturbed.

Some species of rove beetles focus on consuming pests in their larval stages, such as maggots and caterpillars, while others target adult insects like aphids and mealybugs.

In fact, a pair of adult rove beetles can eat up to 1200 root maggot eggs in a single day. However, they can be cannibalistic when food supplies are low.

It’s important to note that while rove beetles may appear fierce, they are not considered dangerous to humans.

Apart from some species like Paederus found in Asia that can cause health issues due to their toxin, paederin, most rove beetles cause no harm to us.

They might bite if handled, but their primary focus is on consuming harmful insects. Therefore, they serve as a beneficial aspect of integrated pest management.

Rove beetles not only possess fascinating features but also contribute positively to the environment by controlling pests.

With an extensive variety of species, these small but effective predators prove to be valuable allies in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem.

Rove Beetle

Physical Characteristics

Adults and Larvae

Rove beetles undergo a complete metamorphosis, developing from eggs through larval stages before becoming adults.

Adult rove beetles are distinctive from larvae due to their more developed features.

  • Adults: Adults have elongated bodies and visible mandibles, while their abdomens are exposed.
  • Larvae: They are typically more compact in appearance, though mandibles can be present.

Color and Size

Rove beetles exhibit a range of colors, primarily brown or black. Their sizes can also vary, depending on the species:

  • Small species: around ¼ inch in length
  • Large species: up to 1 inch in length

Wings and Flight

Rove beetles are capable of flight. One key distinguishing feature is their shortened elytra or wing covers, which expose their abdominal segments when not in flight.

  • When flying, they spread their wings beneath the elytra.
  • When not flying, they often hold their wings folded beneath the elytra.

Comparison table

FeaturesAdultsLarvae
AbdomenExposedMore compact
ColorBrown or blackSimilar to adults
Size¼ to 1 inch in lengthSmaller than adults
WingsShortened elytraAbsent
MandiblesVisible and developedPresent but smaller

Devil’s Coach Horse

Habitat and Behavior

Diet and Predation

Rove beetles are found on the soil surface in various habitats, such as gardens and forests.

They are predatory creatures and play a crucial role in controlling pests. Their diet primarily consists of:

  • Small insects
  • Mites
  • Maggots
  • Aphids

As biological control agents, they help protect crops and vegetation from infestations by preying on harmful insects.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

The rove beetle reproduction process involves the following stages:

  1. Egg
  2. Larva
  3. Pupa
  4. Adult

Adults lay eggs in the soil or leaf litter. After hatching, larvae feed on pests before entering the pupal stage. These beetles can live up to 4 years, featuring overlapping generations.

Rove Beetle

Environmental Adaptability

Rove beetles display high adaptability in different environments:

  • Gardens
  • Lawns
  • Flowers
  • Shrubs

Apart from their predatory behavior, some rove beetle species also feed on decaying organic matter, fungi, and pollen.

Their environmental adaptability makes them versatile and beneficial insects for agriculture.

Comparison Table

Rove BeetlesEarwigs
Predatory, control pestsOmnivorous, less control on pests
Short wing coversPossess pincers (cerci)
Abundant in various habitatsPrefer moist, dark areas

Key Features of Rove Beetles:

  • Predatory behavior
  • Short wing covers
  • Abdomen curled upwards when running or disturbed
  • Over 1,200 species found in California

Characteristics of Rove Beetles:

  • Slender, elongate body
  • Shiny brown or black in color
  • Length: ¼-1 inch
  • Often confused with earwigs

Hairy Rove Beetle

Are Rove Beetles Dangerous? Rove Beetles and Human Interaction

Encounters in Homes

Rove beetles, found in various environments such as North America, might make their way into homes.

They’re often attracted to dead animals, so their presence indoors could indicate other pest issues like springtails or june bugs. These beetles may enter through doors or windows.

Rove Beetle Characteristics:

  • Shiny brown or black
  • ¼ – 1 inch in length
  • Elongate and short-winged
  • Scorpion-like appearance when disturbed
  • Predatory insects

Prevention and Removal

To prevent rove beetles from entering your home, use pest management strategies such as:

  • Sealing gaps around windows and doors
  • Removing dead animals or pests
  • Keeping garden plants and trees well-maintained

For removal, choose non-chemical methods to protect beneficial beetles that control pests like aphids and mites.

Pros:

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Protects beneficial insects

Cons:

  • May require more effort or time

Rove Beetle

Potential Health Risks

While most rove beetles are harmless, some species like Paederus found in Asia can cause health issues due to their toxin, paederin.

When crushed on the skin, this toxin can cause dermatitis linearis, resulting in blisters and burns. However, these cases are rare.

Rove Beetle SpeciesDistributionHealth Risks
PaederusAsiaPaederin, dermatitis linearis

Note: False warnings on social media may exaggerate the danger of rove beetles, comparing them to scorpions or wasps.

In reality, most species pose little to no threat to humans.

Differentiating Related Insects

June Bugs and Japanese Beetles

  • June Bugs primarily feed on decaying matter and pose minimal threat to humans.
  • Japanese Beetles can cause damage to plants and may be considered pests.

Both of these beetles differ from rove beetles, which are general predators, feeding on small insects and thus are beneficial to the environment.

Lady Beetles and Scarab Beetles

  • Lady Beetles are beneficial insects that prey on aphids and scale insects.
  • Scarab Beetles vary in habits, with some species being pests, while others help in decomposition.

Neither of these groups share the same appearance as rove beetles and are easily distinguished.

Earwigs and Stenus Beetles

Earwigs and Stenus Beetles might be confused with rove beetles due to some similarities in appearance. However, important differences are:

FeatureEarwigsStenus BeetlesRove Beetles
DietScavengersPredatorsPredators
HabitatSoil or plant lifeSoil or water edgesSoil or plant life
Appearance featuresLarge ‘pincers’Elongated bodiesShort wing covers

By understanding the differences among these insects, one can appreciate the beneficial roles that rove beetles play in our ecosystem.

Brown and Gold Rove Beetle

Conclusion

Rove beetles are a large and diverse group of insects that belong to the family Staphylinidae, which includes over 60,000 species worldwide.

They are not dangerous to humans or animals, but some species may have defensive secretions that can cause skin irritation, blistering, or inflammation.

Rove beetles can be identified by their elongated and slender bodies, short wing covers, and flexible abdomens.

They are mostly active at night, and can be found in various habitats, such as soil, leaf litter, dung, carrion, and fungi.

They are beneficial insects, as they feed on other pests, such as aphids, mites, maggots, and slugs.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about rove beetles. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Creechie Bug: Paederus Rove Beetle Warning for Bangkok Thailand

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.

Letter 2 – African Rove Beetle: AKA Creechie Bug or Acid Bug

What’s this bug?
Good day
Do you have any further information on this bug? It is known in Angola as an Acid Bug and apparently, it does something similar to the Bombardier Beetle and can cause some burns if you squash one on your skin. Sorry for the poor quality on the photo. Thanks & Regards
Bob Coughlan
Cabinda, Angola

Hi Bob,
In January 2007, we received a letter regarding this genus of Rove Beetles from Camaroon. It is known as the Creechie Bug in Camaroon, but we also like Acid Bug from Angola.

It is in the genus Paederus, and we found a website with images and information on the Contact Dermatitis it can cause.

Letter 3 – Creechie Bug: Rove Beetle from Cameroon

Rove Beetle
Dear Bugman,
Just wanted to send in a picture of a Paederus Rove Beetle. We are missionaries living in Cameroon West Africa and these little critters attack us at the end of every rainy season.

I also included a picture of the burn that these guys can inflict on someone, usually while they sleep. We have been so curious about them since our move here four years ago.

We have done much research to find out what they are, but the only name we had for them was what the local people called them – the creechie bug. It wasn’t until we looked at your website and found pictures of the devils coachhorse that we got an idea that it was a beetle at all.

We thought it was some kind of ant. The coloring is different than the devils coach horse, but the body shape was so similar we started doing a search on Cameroon Rove beetle and that is how we found our answer.

We absoluely LOVE your site. It is in our favorites and we pull it up once a day to see your new postings.

We thought you might be able to post this under your rove beetle section as I am sure other people out there would love to know what this insect is. Thanks for all your work!
Becca

Hi Becca,
Well, we didn’t know anything about the Paederus Rove Beetle, so we had to google it. Sure enough, we found a site with photos of both the red and black beetles and the dermatitis it causes. Thanks for sending in your fascinating letter. We love the name Creechie.

Letter 4 – Contact Dermatitis in Panama: Might this be from a Bicho de Fuego???

I was urinated on by a type of beetle.
March 27, 2010
Hola Bugman!
I recently returned from a three month stay in Panama, where just a few days before my departure, I was peed on in my sleep by a type of beetle that the locals called “chinea” (sp?).

The urine left a large purplish-black blister on my arm, that with the help of hydro-cortisone cream, has been steadily healing. A biologist friend of mine consulted a Panamanian doctor friend and concluded that the beetle is of the stinking variety.

Any more specific info? I’d love to be able to really get to know the bug that has left me, if only a little, emotionally and physically scarred! 🙂
Muchos gracias y adios! Katie
Santa Catalina, Veraguas Province, Panama

Contact Dermatitis: Bicho de Fuego possibly

Hola KAtie,
First we need to come clean and admit that our response is total speculation based on circumstantial evidence.  Since there is no actual photo of the culprit, nothing is certain.  With that stated, there is a genus of Rove Beetles, Paederus, that has a worldwide distribution. 

In Africa, this beetle is called a Creechie or Acid Bug.  We have posted letters with African species several times in the past, including January 2008 and again in May 2008

We found an online posting on the US National Library of Medicine website that indicates “Epidemic outbreak of dermatitis caused by Paederus signaticornis Sharp (Coleoptera: staphylinidae) observed in José Domingo de Obaldía Hospital, David, Panama” in January 1982, so the genus is found in Panama. 

The Medical and Veterinary Entomology website has information, including:  “Rove beetles in the genus Paederus contain pederin (C25H45O9N), a toxin more potent than that of Latrodectus [Black Widow] spider venom, and the most complex nonproteinaceous insect defensive secretion known.  Pederin is synthesized by endosymbiotic gram-negative bacteria (Pseudomonas species) occurring in female Paederus species. 

The beetles, which are mostly 7 to 13 mm long, are found in North, Central, and South America; Europe; Africa; Asia; and Australasia.  Unlike most rove beetles that are dull-colored, many Paederus species have an orange pronotum and orange basal segments of the abdomen, which contrast sharply with the often blue or green metallic elytra and brown or black coloration of the rest of the body. 

This color pattern may be a form of warning (aposematic) coloration, but a defensive function for pederin has not been demonstrated. … Species in South American countries are known by various names, such as bicho de fuego, pito, potó, podó, and trepa-moleque.”

Thanks for the info!  If when I return to Panama am able to get a photograph/more info, I will surely send you an update!

Letter 5 – Australian Rove Beetle

Hello
Since sending my request for help in identifying a black bodied -orange headed beetle, I have found it as a “Rove beetle” – As yet I have been unable to find the particular type but at least now I have something to go on! Please ignore my request of yesterday …

I’m sure you have plenty of things to do. I came across this guy attached, in the garden next door (Toowoomba Australia). it is about 15-18mm long – I have hunted around the web trying to find it but so far with no joy:-( – Maybe you know it? Most appreciative of any help…..
Keith Power
Toowoomba Q
Australia

Hi Keith,
You are correct that this is a Rove Beetle. It will take us some research to give you a species, but there are so many physically similar species that might be impossible.

Update (12/05/2007)
Australian Rove Beetle
Hi there,
the rove beetle you have an image of on your website, the one with the bright orange head, is Creophilus erythrocephalus (Fabricius). I am revising that genus of rove beetles. Cheers,
Dave Clarke
PhD Candidate
University of Illinois at Chicago
Zoology, Division of Insects
The Field Museum

Letter 6 – Angry Rove Beetle in a Zip Lock Bag!!!

Subject: what bug is this?
Location: Oregon
January 2, 2014 12:33 am
Saw this thing flying around my house. It landed on my couch. I trapped it in a zip lock bag. Seems aggressive…
Signature: Joel

Zip Locked Rove Beetle
Zip Locked Rove Beetle

Dear Joel,
We hope you let this Rove Beetle free after taking the digital image.  You would most likely be angry if you found yourself in a Zip Lock Bag, and you might even act out aggressively.  That said, this is a Rove Beetle, and they are truly fascinating beetles. 

Their flight wings are folded and hidden beneath the small elytra, which means the Rove Beetles are softer bodied than most beetles that have elytra or wing covers which are hard and which cover the entirety of the abdomen. 

Rove Beetles might be a threat to small arthropods and land molluscs, however, they pose no danger to humans as they do not possess any venom.  They do have scent glands in the abdomen and they often posture with the tail bent over the head in a position reminiscent  of the threat pose of a stinging Scorpion. 

The Devil’s Coach Horse is one especially daunting looking Rove Beetle.  Your individual is not a Devil’s Coach Horse and we do not recognize your species and this is a very, very large family.  

Letter 7 – Brown and Gold Rove Beetle

Subject: Identification
Location: GA
May 20, 2014 5:14 pm
I’ve been interested in bugs for as long as I can remember.
I love observing and learning about them, my favorite is the Hummingbird Moth.
I own an IPad Mini so these pictures aren’t as clear as i’d like them to be, but i hope it’s clear enough for the identification of the insect.
Signature: BzyBee

Brown and Gold Rove Beetle
Brown and Gold Rove Beetle

Dear BzyBee,
Though it does not resemble a typical member of the Beetle order Coleoptera, this Brown and Gold Rove Beetle is a beetle nonetheless.

Letter 8 – Brown and Gold Rove Beetle

Subject: Earwig? Rove Beetle?
Location: RVA
February 12, 2017 4:17 pm
I need help identifying this bug. Found in Richmond Virginia on 2/12/17 on a warm afternoon. Usually I can find the bug through the internet, but not this time.
Signature: Phil

Brown and Gold Rove Beetle

Dear Phil,
You really didn’t need much help.  Most people don’t even recognize Rove Beetles as Beetles.  We believe this is either a Gold and Brown Rove Beetle,
Ontholestes cingulatus, or a closely related species.  We really like the Ozark Bill A Thousand Acres of Silphiums page.

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

36 thoughts on “Are Rove Beetles Dangerous? Uncovering the Truth”

  1. Hi, I live in Panamá, and from what you were saying, your insect is probably what we call a chinche, not chinea, and it is usualy identified by the form of its body and the horrible stinking smell that comes from its “urine”, a defensory behavoir in which the insect sprays a liquid as soon as it senses any danger to repel any posible predator. It is quite common in Panamá, and loves vines that are close to human homes. Some are quite beautiful, but they are so trigger-happy that they are considered a pest here. I am posting a link to a yahoo! image search in which you can see many different types, most of them I have seen in Panamá. But I would like to warn you about one that is called “chinche besucona” which bites humans, and may infect them with a parasite that causes Chagas, so please be very carefull around them…..
    http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=A0oG7nc4DjRN5XQB7ShXNyoA?ei=UTF-8&p=chinche&fr2=tab-web&fr=yfp-t-701

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment. The Chinche is one of the Blood Sucking Conenose Bugs in the genus Triatoma, and they are capable of spreading Chagas Disease.

      Reply
  2. Hi! I’m filming a documentary in Cameroon about beetles in February or March, and I’m looking for more information on the Creechie.

    Do you think it would be possible for me to find Creechies in Nguti, Cameroon during Feb?March?

    Please let me know if you can! It would be SOO helpful and amazing!

    Thanks!
    Steph

    Reply
    • Dear skaliner,
      We do not know for certain if there is a season for Creechies in Camaroon. Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide information.

      Reply
  3. 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.

    Reply
  4. 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

    Reply
  5. WHEN I WAS WORKING IN NIGERIA AND OFFSHORE A FEW YEARS AGO, THIS SAME CRITTER WAS KNOWN AS THE “PAPA BUG”. WAS A NASTY BURN LIKE AREA WHEN IF YOU SWATTED OR MASHED ON YOUR SKIN.

    Reply
  6. 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.

    Reply
  7. please let me know treatment for thz bug bite skin area … it burn like fire n spread as well .. because it bite on my leg i couldn’t walk i do not know about this first but when i come to know its too late 4 days i already suffered and even i am suffering know …please if any body know a good treatment for that..

    thanks

    kuldeep

    ernakulam, kerala, india

    Reply
  8. please let me know treatment for thz bug bite skin area … it burn like fire n spread as well .. because it bite on my leg i couldn’t walk i do not know about this first but when i come to know its too late 4 days i already suffered and even i am suffering know …please if any body know a good treatment for that..

    thanks

    kuldeep

    ernakulam, kerala, india

    Reply
  9. what beatle? Black, grows to 65mm long x 25mm wide has two white stripes
    on the sides at edge of top body. Very hard body and shoots an acid stream / like hose + – 1 meter. very accurate . Stings like hell.
    Found in southern Africa / this one found by the kafue river Kitwe Zambia
    Thanks for your help if you can
    Alastair

    Reply
    • That is most definitey NOT the Creechie Bug which is the subject of this posting. Are you certain it is a beetle? An image is preferable to a description.

      Reply
  10. what beatle? Black, grows to 65mm long x 25mm wide has two white stripes
    on the sides at edge of top body. Very hard body and shoots an acid stream / like hose + – 1 meter. very accurate . Stings like hell.
    Found in southern Africa / this one found by the kafue river Kitwe Zambia
    Thanks for your help if you can
    Alastair

    Reply
  11. Pls identify. approx 50mm plus long x 15mm plus wide, two black ridges on the back with two white stripes running down the sides on the top of ridges,edge and shoots an acid squirt / spray plus one meter if hasseled.
    Burns the skin. This beatle can move very fast and is hard to squash or kill. advise kids not to get close.
    found near Kafue River Copperbelt Zambia

    Reply
  12. Pls identify. approx 50mm plus long x 15mm plus wide, two black ridges on the back with two white stripes running down the sides on the top of ridges,edge and shoots an acid squirt / spray plus one meter if hasseled.
    Burns the skin. This beatle can move very fast and is hard to squash or kill. advise kids not to get close.
    found near Kafue River Copperbelt Zambia

    Reply
    • 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.

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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  14. 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.

    Reply
  15. 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?

    Reply
    • 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..

      Reply
  16. 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?

    Reply
  17. yes, i cant identify it right now because i didnt know it would be so harmful this way. It has black spots on its back or the feather with yellow legs and yellow chest and black head, the stomach is totally empty and it is like a transparent plastic, the stomach seems like it is filled up with air while it is completely empty.
    i was sleeping when it entered under my leg and released the acidic gas which burned my skin immediately under seconds. it pained me for over 24 hours, the wound was exactly like fire wound or fire-burn.
    which made me to rush into the bathroom to wash it with soap & sponge.
    To kill this insect is not much easy due to its stomach is empty.

    Reply
  18. yes, i cant identify it right now because i didnt know it would be so harmful this way. It has black spots on its back or the feather with yellow legs and yellow chest and black head, the stomach is totally empty and it is like a transparent plastic, the stomach seems like it is filled up with air while it is completely empty.
    i was sleeping when it entered under my leg and released the acidic gas which burned my skin immediately under seconds. it pained me for over 24 hours, the wound was exactly like fire wound or fire-burn.
    which made me to rush into the bathroom to wash it with soap & sponge.
    To kill this insect is not much easy due to its stomach is empty.

    Reply
  19. yes, i cant identify it right now because i didnt know it would be so harmful this way. It has black spots on its back or the feather with yellow legs and yellow chest and black head, the stomach is totally empty, the stomach is like a transparent plastic, the stomach seems like it is filled up with air while it is completely empty.
    i was sleeping when it entered under my leg and released the acidic gas which burned my skin immediately under seconds. it pained me for over 24 hours, the wound was exactly like fire wound or fire-burn.
    i rushed into the bathroom to wash it with soap & sponge.
    To kill this insect is not much easy due to its stomach is empty.

    Reply
  20. yes, i cant identify it right now because i didnt know it would be so harmful this way. It has black spots on its back or the feather with yellow legs and yellow chest and black head, the stomach is totally empty, the stomach is like a transparent plastic, the stomach seems like it is filled up with air while it is completely empty.
    i was sleeping when it entered under my leg and released the acidic gas which burned my skin immediately under seconds. it pained me for over 24 hours, the wound was exactly like fire wound or fire-burn.
    i rushed into the bathroom to wash it with soap & sponge.
    To kill this insect is not much easy due to its stomach is empty.

    Reply
  21. 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.

    Reply
  22. 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

    Reply
  23. 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.

    Reply

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