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1 July 2015 Paederus Outbreaks in Human Settings: A Review of Current Knowledge
Lee-Jin Bong, Kok-Boon Neoh, Zairi Jaal, Chow-Yang Lee
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Although rove beetles (Paederus spp.) play a beneficial role as biological control agents to manage crop pests in agro-ecosystems, their high prevalence in human settings has elevated them to pest status in urban areas. Rove beetles neither bite nor sting, but accidental crushing on human skin causes them to release the toxin paederin, which causes dermatitis linearis. This review integrates currently available knowledge about the issues pertaining to Paederus infestation. For instance, the results of life history studies conducted under different food and temperature regimes are summarized, as they indicate how large a population can be in a habitat to cause massive and widespread infestation and illustrate the physiological traits required to maintain the population at the maximum level even under adverse conditions. In contrast to what is generally reported, we speculate that climatic factors do not necessarily result in Paederus dispersal in temperate regions; instead, habitat disturbance and site unsuitability may be the main factors that lead to massive dispersal to human settings. Factors such as whether dispersers are adaptable to xeric conditions in human settings, the probability that dispersed Paederus mate with the opposite sex, and whether dispersers have adequate nutrient intake to reproduce are considered to evaluate their potential to reproduce in human settings. Finally, the effectiveness of current commercial insecticides, challenges faced in managing infestations, and sustainable management practices are discussed to provide information for long-term control programs.

© The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
Lee-Jin Bong, Kok-Boon Neoh, Zairi Jaal, and Chow-Yang Lee "Paederus Outbreaks in Human Settings: A Review of Current Knowledge," Journal of Medical Entomology 52(4), 517-526, (1 July 2015).
Received: 15 October 2014; Accepted: 18 March 2015; Published: 1 July 2015

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dermatitis linearis
habitat disturbance
life history
population dynamics
urban expansion
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