Beware of the Danger of Tomcat Toxic Exposure

Tomcat can not only cause complaints in the skin area that is exposed to the poison, but also in the eyes and other body parts. Although tomcat is small, its poison should not be underestimated because it can cause severe skin irritation and inflammation.

Tomcat is a kind of small beetle that looks like a fighter plane. Tomcat is actually very beneficial for farmers because it acts as a predator for many pests. However, its presence in residential areas must be watched out to reduce the risk of skin irritation.

Danger of Tomcat Toxic Exposure

Beware of the Danger of Tomcat Toxic Exposure 

Symptoms that Arise if Exposed to Tomcat Poison

Unlike most insects, the irritation caused by tomcats is not due to their bites, but from a poison called pederin in their body fluids. This poison will cause contact dermatitis on the skin if the tomcat is hit or accidentally squashed until the body fluids come out and come into contact with the skin.

Here are some of the symptoms that may arise after exposure to tomcat poison:

  • Redness
  • Stinging and burning sensation on the skin
  • Itching and skin irritation
  • Blistered skin

The above symptoms will usually last up to 10 days. In addition, tomcat poison has the potential to spread to other parts of the body and form skin irritations that are similar in appearance to the first irritation.

If tomcat venom is in the hands, the possibility of this poison spreading to other limbs is even greater. Tomcat poison can spread and cause dermatitis on the scalp, eyes, and genitals. Eye irritation due to tomcat venom can cause severe conjunctivitis.

In severe cases, for example, when the area of  skin exposed to the poison is large enough, pederin can cause symptoms of neuralgia, arthralgia, and fever accompanied by vomiting.


How to Prevent Tomcat Toxic Exposure

To prevent skin disorders due to exposure to tomcat poison, there are several preventive ways you can do, namely:


1. Banish the tomcat without killing it

If you see a tomcat stuck to the skin, do not ever squeeze or kill the tomcat. This is because you just let the exposure to the tomcat poison stick to the skin.

The right way to get rid of the tomcat that sticks to the skin is to blow the tomcat hard until it bounces or to shake it with a soft cloth or tissue.


2. Clean the skin area in contact with the tomcat

After removing the tomcat from the skin, immediately clean the skin area in contact with the tomcat using soap and water. This method can minimize exposure to tomcat poison which can stick to the skin even if you don't kill it.


3. Use insect repellent nets at home

Because tomcat can spread to the home environment, it's a good idea to install an insect repellent net on the windows and ventilation of the house. If necessary, always close all room doors to prevent the tomcat from entering the house.


4. Turn off the lights while sleeping

Because tomcats like lights that turn on at night, it's best to turn off the lights in your bedroom when you sleep. If you really want to use a light while sleeping, choose a light source that doesn't emit UV, such as an LED light.

The precautions above can greatly reduce the risk of getting tomcat poison. You don't need to worry if the tomcat beetle is indeed endemic in your area. As long as the tomcat poison is not directly exposed to the skin, it is unlikely that contact dermatitis or other disturbing symptoms will occur.

However, if the tomcat is accidentally squashed and its body secretes fluid or toxins on your skin, take the first treatment immediately before the symptoms spread. Some of the handling steps you can take include:

Clean the skin area affected by tomcat poison with soap and clean water so it doesn't spread to other body areas.

Avoid touching other skin areas, after handling the skin area affected by tomcat poison, unless you have washed your hands with soap.

Compress the skin with cold water to relieve symptoms of contact dermatitis due to exposure to tomcat toxins on the skin.

Take painkillers that can be purchased at a pharmacy, such as paracetamol, if the part of the skin affected by tomcat poison is very painful.

If the wound does not improve, is very painful, forms a wet wound because the blisters have broken, or spreads to other areas, consult a doctor immediately for further treatment.

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