Narrow Bee Fly 'Nairobi' Fly (Rove Beetle) 1

Narrow Bee Fly ‘Nairobi’ Fly (Rove Beetle)

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We offer fumigation services against Narrow Bee Fly better known as Nairobi fly.

Nairobi Fly is a common example of an insect that contains a corrosive substance known as pederin.  They are species of the rove beetle genus Paederus, and are black and red in colour, and about 6–10 mm long.  They live in rotting leaves where they lay their eggs.

The rove beetles are a family (Staphylinidae) of beetles, primarily distinguished by their short elytra (wing covers) that typically leave more than half of their abdominal segments exposed. With roughly 63,000 species in thousands of genera, the group is currently recognized as the largest extant family of organisms.

What you need to know about Narrow Bee Fly or better known as #nairobifly

  1. It is one of the insects that contains a corrosive substance known as pederin. Narrow Bee Fly is a species of the rove beetle genus paederus.
  2. They are black and red (orangish) in colour, and about 6–10 mm long.
  3. Do not crush it, but blow or flick it off It doesn’t sting or bite, but when its ant-like body is crushed, potent toxins, pederin, spills onto the skin causing itching, a burning sensation and swelling. Temporary blindness may occur if the toxin affects the eyes
  4. They are prolific during rainy season
  5. The beetles live and breed in wet, rotting leaves and soil where they lay their eggs.
  6. Like other insects, the beetles are attracted by bright light. When the lights are turned off, the beetles drop down and occasionally hit a person who naturally takes a swat at the tickling intruder.
  7. In death, the bug retaliates — releasing pederin, one of the most powerful animal toxins, which it produces to keep from being eaten.

Don’t miss our next post that covers the symptoms of Nairobi Fly toxins when it comes into contact with your skin.


Beware these proliferating poisonous bugs (during heavy rains) rove beetles or Narrow Bee Fly “the Nairobi fly’. nasty bugs cause lesions, blisters and boils that take up to 2 weeks to heal.

Most afflicted notice the symptoms upon awakening in the morning. These beetles are nocturnally active and enter the room whenever a light source is available.

The unintentional crushing of these beetles during sleep causes the release of its hemolymph (pederin) which is the cause of the dermatitis.

The poisonous substance which causes dermatitis could be detected in every part of the body of adults, pupae, larvae and eggs. It is contained in the body fluid, and leaks out only when a part of the body is injured.

Then, 12 to 24 hours later, the skin flushes red and victims complain of symptoms from tickling to severe burning. In another day or two, pinhead-sized blisters erupt, filled with a yellowish fluid. As the blisters burst, raw, red skin is exposed.

In a week or two, the damaged skin peels off and begins to heal. Secondary infections can occur, especially if the victim scratches the irritated skin.


  • Avoid using lights at night, especially in bedrooms.
  • If you are drying clothes outside, ensure you take the laundry in early and shake them off. They are known to cling on laundry.
  • Pesticides can be used to kill the insects.
  • Mosquito nets for beds can guard against a nighttime attack.
  • Clear bushes and burn rotting leave to discourage breeding

Have you ever been affected by Nairobi fly? How did you manage it and for how long? Did it leave any scarring? Let us know on our Social Media Pages.

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