Tomcat beetle strikes Buleleng

BULELENG: Eight residents of the predominantly Muslim village, Kampung Bugis, suffered from skin irritation after coming into contact with the rove beetle (Paederus littoralis), locally known as Tomcat.

The cases were the first reported case of rove beetle infestation on the resort island. The Tomcat plague had affected several areas in East Java.

The first contact took place on Thursday involving a local resident, Sumiati, 41, who developed a burning rash on her face. She recalled that she had just swatted a tiny insect that landed on her face.

“I have reported the cases to the local health agency and veterinary office,” Kampung Bugis neighborhood chief Subagiyono said.

Buleleng Health Agency chief Made Sukarmini said medical personnel had been sent to the village to treat the victims.

The beetle’s circulatory system contains a potent and highly toxic irritant known as pederin, which could cause severe skin irritation.

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