Nairobi Flies


    In Context 

    • Around 100 students of an engineering college in East Sikkim have reported skin infections after coming in contact with Nairobi flies.

    Image Courtesy:IE

    About Nairobi flies

    •  A species of insect native to East Africa and also called Kenyan flies or dragon bugs.
    • They  are small, beetle-like insects that belong to two species
      •  Paederus eximius and Paederus sabaeus
    • They are orange and black in colour, and thrive in areas with high rainfall.
      • Like most insects, the beetles are attracted by bright light.
    • Effect on Human 
      • Usually ,it attacks pests that consume crops and are beneficial for humans but at times, they come in contact with humans directly and cause harm. 
        • These flies do not bite, but if disturbed while sitting on anyone’s skin, they release a potent acidic substance that causes burns.
          • This substance is called pederin, and can cause irritation if it comes in contact with the skin, leading to lesions or unusual marks or colouring on the skin. 
    • Major outbreaks 
    • They have happened in Kenya and other parts of eastern Africa. 
    • Outside Africa, outbreaks have happened in India, Japan, Israel, and Paraguay in the past.
    • Measures 
      • Sleeping under mosquito nets can help. If a fly lands on a person, it should be gently brushed off, and should not be disturbed or touched to reduce the chances of it releasing pederin.