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Tomcat Plague Phenomenon Hits Surabaya

In last few days in Blackberry Messenger there are a lot to discussion about Tomcat. Recently, Surabaya was attacked by Tomcat plague. Fortunately, I’m not living in Surabaya right now. So I can avoid that insect. But I wonder what is Tomcat? Where they come from? When i heard what my friends said, it’s so scary. I myself had seen the coverage about Tomcat on TV. On this article I would like to discuss a bit about Tomcat. What is Tomcat? What are the dangers of Tomcat? And how to take action to prevent it?

Tomcat : Dangerous Insects Species that similar to ants

From the appearance, insects that have scientific name Paederus riparius or often called Tomcat seems like a harmless insect. Tomcat has color red and black in its body. Although it seems like ants, but this insect could cause wound when we have physical contact with it. The Tomcat body size is about 7-8 mm. Tomcat has paederin toxins that can causes burns on human skin.


Tomcat insecticide concentration is 12 times higher than cobra venom. These toxins can last even eight years after the insect dies. This beetle like the light at night, so many victims are motorcyclists, or those who are in homes with bright light or they who camping near the forest.

Generally, Tomcat insect occur throughout the year but peaked in July-September which has a climate humidity. Tomcat already hit several houses and apartments in Surabaya. The peoples that had physical contact with Tomcat will have burns in their skin.

How to deal with Tomcat

This beetle is attracted to light, so you should avoid being too close to the light bulbs or minimize the use of light near the door and windows.

Use mosquito nets, aerosol spray or a mixture of organic pesticides from laos, neem leaves, and lemongrass to kill the incoming beetles.

If there Tomcat that already landed on the skin, do not kill it in the body, but blow until it left.

How to cure the wound because of Tomcat

If the skin is in contact with these insects, burning sensation will arises then your skin will turn into red followed by the appearance of pus in the center of the wound in few days.

Immediately wash the infected area with soap and water. If skin reaction occurs, wash with mild antiseptic pemanganate diluted potassium (Kmn04) such as hydrocortisone 1% and weak steroid creams and antibiotics such as neomycin sulfate betametasone 5%.

Do not scratch wounds, because the venom can even move to another part of the skin over the wound fluid. However, if the injury occurs in the eye area and mucous membranes, you should immediately see a doctor. With treatment, the wound will usually be better within 10 days to three weeks until the scars is gone. However, the wound can’t be gone if it involves dermis. Doctors are also advised to avoid the sun so it will not cause inflammation that causes marks on skin.

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