Rove Beetle: Danger for Parents and Babies Alike

Rove Beetle: Danger for Parents and Babies Alike Rove Beetle: Danger for Parents and Babies Alike Rove Beetle: Danger for Parents and Babies Alike

During the rainy season, besides the common cold that can make babies sick even more, there are also dangers of which parents must beware: 'Rove Beetle'. It is just a small insect but extremely poisonous because just touching its venom can cause large blisters on the skin. Those who do not realize the harm of the rove beetle’s venom often get rid of it by using hands to brush or crush like they do for other insects, but will later suffer skin burning. Moreover, during this rainy season, another thing that should not be ignored is the baby's skin rash, a problem that regularly annoys parents.

Rove beetles belong to a small scarab that can be found frequently during the rainy season. Their size is small, about 4-7 millimeters. Their body is segmented, the head and tail are black while the abdomen orange. They live in damp areas, such as haystacks, wood piles, or manure. They like to fly into the bright area and may fall on the floor.

Rove beetles’ venom The toxin of this insect is known as Pederin, which is acidic and irritating. When in contact with the skin, it causes a rash or blisters, burning red skin and pain. Some may have severe symptoms, namely fever, nausea and vomiting, and, if the venom is around the eyes, blindness might occur.

Symptoms Rove beetles rarely bite. Nonetheless, in case they crawl along the body and we touch or crush them, the poison in the insects’ body will be excreted in the form of a liquid and then absorbed into our body, causing an allergic reaction.

After touching the insect, abnormal symptoms will not immediately occur. However, after 6-12 hours pass, the area that was exposed to the insect will begin to experience burning pain and itching, starting to show a clear red rash. Or it may start to turn into a clear blister or a burning mark. In case of a fairly severe poison, blisters will heal themselves within 7-10 days.

Basic treatment and first aid

  • Immediately wash the affected area with clean water.
  • Apply a cold compress in case of skin burning.
  • Take antihistamines if itching.
  • Do not touch or scratch the affected area to prevent further bacterial infection.
  • Apply steroids if the inflammation is severe.
  • Take medication or antibiotics in case of a complicated bacterial infection.  
  • Immediately take your baby to a doctor in case of severe symptoms, such as fever, headache, and vomiting.


  • Close the house completely at night and use the mosquito net to prevent the insect from entering your home or mattress.
  • Reduce the use of lighting in the house because the insect likes to play with light.
  • Before going to bed, always check the baby's sleeping area if there are rove beetles or not.
  • Avoid touching the insect with bare hands.
  • Wear trousers and long sleeve shirts.

How to get rid of the rove beetle If the insect is found, do not touch or crush it. Instead, blow or flick it away from the body.

A heartfelt thank for information provided by Piyarat ‘Ann’ Lertbannaphong, M.D.

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