Surabaya, Indonesia is currently undergoing an attack of Tomcat insects that have been disturbing residents because it caused a reaction in the skin. Dr. Yunis Tri Miko, W, MSc professor of epidemiology in FKM UI said every insect have a role in disease transmission including tomcat. This insect has a poison that can cause a reaction in the skin. “This Insects are found in the garden or fields and usually only cause a reaction in the skin. In contrast to other insects like centipedes, the poison can cause paralysis and nerve poison,” said Dr. Tri. He further said if someone exposed to the poison of these insects then promptly cleaned and given anti allergy drugs such as hydrocortisone ointment or betametasone so that the reaction is not excessive.
“The reaction in the body caused by tomcat is different every person, for which no allergies may only cause a little red. But if the person has an allergic reaction or excessive high sensitivity to allergens, it is necessary immediately care”.
Tomcat is a type of beetle which has the Latin name Paederus riparius. He lives in moist areas and will generally follow the light from the lamp. This insects usually works to repel and eat animals such as beetle infestation and pests of rice. But if to attack human then this has become a plague and this Tomcat insects often appear when it’s dusk and people started turning on the light illumination. Tomcat will excrete toxins from the body or in contact with human skin. These toxins will cause itching and also cause thermal injury to the skin.
Dr.Tri said the health way to prevent it is by spraying insecticides to kill insects and to avoid direct contact with the insects. These pesticides are the vegetable which usually contain laos, neem leaves and lemongrass that aims to kill tomcat insects that have been disturbing residents. Besides other things can be done as a form of prevention is through people’s behavior for example by closing doors and windows before turning on the lights, because tomcat is insect that following light.
Tomcat is a beetle that has a size of less than 1 cm. Its body is dark yellow at the top, bottom of abdomen and dark head. The middle of a dark green abdomen and has a pair of wings keras. Usually, these beetles appear by crawling and hiding wings and look more like ants. If disturbed it will raise the abdomen look like scorpion.
These beetles do not sting or bite. Hemolimf fluid thatcontained in the body (except the wings) this animal have the dangerous poison. The toxin was identified as ‘aederin’ : (C24 H43 N O9) named in 1953. This fluid was allegedly 12x more lethal than cobra venom.
Tomcat will automatically release fluid if event of a collision with a touch of human skin or in person. It could also touch indirectly through towels, clothes or other equipment that is contaminated by toxic tomcat. That is why, if it is exposed to an automatic dermatitis like bedspreads, towels and equipment that was allegedly exposed to toxic tomcat needs to be cleaned.
If a rash occurs after contact with this beetle :
1. If you affected into contact with this beetle, immediately wash the affected area with soap and water.
2. Those who experience a severe skin reaction better to get medical care.
3. For patients who experience a rash propagation, make sure the insect is no longer in bed and close all windows when the evening.
4. Ingredients such as antiseptic solution of potassium permanganate (KMnO4) may be used for washing.
5. Antiseptic mixed with low-strength steroid cream can reduce the injuries.
6. Finally, do not let the wound that is still wet in the sun, because it can cause black scars are difficult to remove.
For treatment, use Acyclovir Ointment 5% which can be found in the Drug Stores / Pharmacies nearby.