Nairobi Eye

This small insect is known locally as the Nairobi Eye, and is typically never seen until the rainy season.  Officially it is a beetle, I believe in the Rove beetle family (though I find conflicting information on the internet).  This is a bug that people go out of their way to avoid.  It does not bite, nor does it sting, but its bodily fluids are corrosive to human flesh, and will cause blisters to break out if you make the mistake of crushing it on your skin.  I (David) smeared one on my arm once to see what would happen.  It took about a week for the rash to appear, and within another week it had peeked.  At peek the rash is quite crusty, looking like a bad burn trying to heal.  Within another week it was gone.  The temptation when feeling a bug land on ones skin is to brush it off.  That’s the worst thing you can do with this bug, as you are sure to crush it and end up looking like you need a dermatologist.  Often times these will appear out of nowhere by the thousands.

5 thoughts on “Nairobi Eye

  1. As far as I know, once the blisters break out, there is no treatment. You simply must wait for a time and let it heal. If you crush one of the bugs on your skin, you should immediately wash the area with soap and water and this will usually keep the blisters from breaking out.

  2. I have heard it said that if you put vinegar on the rash, it neutralizes and stops it from spreading.

  3. Nope, a discussion led us to discover that the fluid causing the rash is acidic (not basic which would respond to vinegar) therefore treating the rash with baking soda should help contain it.

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