Nairobi services
Nairobi Service Author
Rafiki Pest Control LTD
  • June 16, 2024

Distressing itchiness, a painful burning sensation, and ugly blister patches on your skin, this is what you will experience if you fall victim of the Narrow Bee Fly. The narrow red and black insect is about 5-10mm long and has a very toxic and corrosive venom known as pederin.  Any skin contact with this venom causes paederus dermatitis, a skin irritation that begins as slight erythema and develops to severe skin blistering depending on concentration and extent of exposure. 

The Narrow Bee Fly is a species of the rove beetle genus paederus. They dwell in rooting leaves where they lay their eggs and breed. Heavy rains provide a conducive environment for these beetles to survive and increase. If you cross paths, they will neither bite nor sting you. Crushing the insect against the skin causes the release of its toxin, often at night when one heedlessly brushes the insect from his or her face. 

Crucial Scientific Facts Everyone Must Know About Narrow Bee Flies 

  • The name Narrow Bee Fly commonly referred to by the Journal of Entomology as the Nairobi Fly or the Kenya Fly refers to two species of beetles that mainly live in East Africa. 
  • They are of the species rove beetle and genus Paederus. 
  • They neither sting nor bite their victims. Therefore, to avoid skin irritation, you are advised to brush it away or blow it off your skin gently.
  • These insects have black elytra all over their wings; hardened forewings which cover and protect the membranous hindwings.
  • Their bodies have hemolymph that has pederin, which is very toxic and causes skin blistering and dermatitis. 
  • Heavy rains, especially El Nino, create favorable conditions for Narrow Bee Fly outbreaks and vigorous development. (They are very popular in Kenya during heavy rains)

What Are the Dangers Posed by Narrow Bee Flies?

Narrow Bee flies cause so much discomfort to their unfortunate victims. Below are the risks posed when a person's skin comes into contact with their venom:

  • During an outbreak or exposure to the insect, you should be extremely careful because they discharge a very harmful poison. Possibly more dangerous than the venom of a cobra. 
  • They release a corrosive poison from their hemolymph that causes paederus dermatitis when crushed.
  • The skin irritation caused by Narrow Bee Flies affects the face, neck area, and arms.
  • Touching your eyes using hands contaminated with the toxin causes a red oozy eye, swelling and if not treated, can develop into severe complications. 
  • Once the toxic liquid has come into contact with the skin, it causes severe itching and an unbearable burning sensation. 
  • Narrow Bee flies leave behind ugly patches of blisters on a victim's skin.


Signs and Symptoms of Narrow Bee Fly Fluid On Your Skin

When Pederin comes into contact with your skin, you may not experience any signs or symptoms for the first 24 hours of irritation. However, soon after this period, you may show the following symptoms:

  • Severe itching and a burning sensation in the affected area. 
  • Swelling and reddening of the area
  • Small, excruciating blisters that resemble boils may also develop on the affected area.
  • In case the venom comes into contact with an area that has some joints, lesions may develop. You will notice them when the skin begins to look like a burn. 
  • With time, you will see scars on the area, and in severe cases, the affected area may develop a secondary bacterial infection that results in very dark patches.

Treatment and Prevention from Narrow Bee Flies

Like many other flies, Narrow Bee flies are attracted to fluorescent lights. As soon as the lights go off, they will crawl and find their way into a victim's bed when he or she is fast asleep. Naturally, you'll want to crush it, and this will only lead to the release of the toxic pederin. 

  • Avoid skin irritation by gently brushing the insect off your skin or directly blowing it off. 
  • Clear vegetation and get rid of any containers that may trap water in your homestead because Narrow Bee Flies are attracted to humid and moist places, and survive in nearby bushes only to come out at night.
  • Sleep under a mosquito net and ensure to close all doors and windows before it gets dark during rainy seasons.
  • Paederus dermatitis is treatable through the application of a mild steroid ointment. 
  • Oral antihistamines can also be applied to reduce the itching that results from scratching the skin.
  • The Ministry of Health Recommends that in case you crush Narrow Bee Fly on your skin, wash the area with soap and water immediately to reduce toxin effects. 

Importance of Getting Rid of Narrow Bee Flies

The toxin produced by these insects is worse than that of a cobra's venom. Their mere sight is enough to make an adult's blood run cold. They do not bite nor sting, but once their toxin has come into contact with your skin, you will be devastated by the damage that will result. You will develop severe itching and an unbearable burning sensation. As if that's not enough discomfort, you are also at risk of getting ugly blisters, and in severe cases, the affected area might develop a secondary bacterial infection. The bacterial infection appears like a skin infection that causes dark patches.   

Why You Should Hire a Professional Pest Control Company to Eliminate Narrow Bee Flies

To be completely safe, you should avoid any contact with these insects. If Narrow Bee Flies have infested your home, you should call a licensed professional who will eliminate them and ensure no chances of future re-infestation. 

Here, at Rafiki Pest Control Narrow Bee Fly Control is done by our vetted and licensed staff who will visit your premises upon request. They will embark upon a radical inspection meant to rapidly spot any Narrow Bee Fly attraction sites in your house and compound.  From here, they will know exactly where to look for their source, and the specific treatment will be applied to get rid of them and stop any further breeding. We give a sound report system and ensure close follow-ups. 

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