The number of patients including children and adults, being treated for wounds caused by rove beetles has increased. Dr. Le Ngoc Duy of the National Children Hospital’s Anti-Poison Center said that the insect produces pederin which is highly toxic, more potent than cobra venom.
Pederin can cause serious skin irritations if you crush the beetle the toxin is released and absorbed by your skin. Initial symptoms include reddening of the skin, and a 'burning' sensation. This is followed by painful irritation and itching, with extensive pustules and blistering of the skin. The affected areas remain irritated, blistered and sore for 10 days. Toxin on the hands, or exposure near body joints, can spread toxin to other areas of the body and to others.
Medical workers advised the public not to crush the insects if they are found inside the home, to avoid skin contact with its irritant, pederin but blow or use objects to remove the insect and refrain from crushing it, and wash their clothes thoroughly and separately if stained with the pederin.
Physicians warned if exposed to rove beetle toxin, people should wash affected area immediately with soapy water, and then use cold compresses, antihistamines, or apply aloe vera to alleviate the symptoms on exposed areas.
Seek medical attention for severe skin reactions to the toxin.
Moreover, doctors suggested that people not leave their lights on when sleeping and keep their windows closed at night because screen windows cannot keep the insect out.