A bite from a centipede doesn’t involve the arthropod using its mouthparts to inflict the bite. It usually means the centipede has utilized its clawed point legs situated at the front of its body to puncture your skin. All centipedes bite.
The caliber of venom depends on the size and species of the centipede. The smaller centipedes do not have too much venom to inject into your system so their bites are probably not as painful. But a large enough centipede can release venom into the bite that will cause excruciating pain for a couple of hours and even days.
When the centipede traps your skin between its claws it reflexively squeezes the muscles around the claw which also contain the poison gland. Once the gland is squeezed it releases the toxic venom into the claws ducts and straight into your skin. The modified pair of legs that appear claw like are known as maxillipeds so the bigger they are the more capable they are to piece skin.
The venom produced by centipedes is not fatal to human beings regardless of how large the centipede is. However, the bite is fatal to other insects to which a centipede is a predator. The worst symptoms experienced from a centipede bite include nausea, vomiting and fever.
A centipede’s bite produces a variety of toxins that include serotonin, histamine, and a cardio-depressant known as toxin-S. These will respond to anti-histamines and hydrocortisone creams to soothe the pain, swelling and the localized irritation. Centipede venom can also cause anaphylactic episodes much like the bee and wasp stings.
Where do you find centipede
Centipedes are outdoor creatures although there are some species that can be found indoors. The outdoor species can be found under rocks, tree barks, mulch, stones and other areas that are damp. When these areas are near the house the centipedes will find their way indoors increasing the chances of a bite.
In addition, centipedes being the predators that they are feed on cockroaches and spiders which lure them inside. They are also attracted to the warmth and safe nooks and crannies within the floor boards and drains. Centipede move fast and they can cover 16 inches per second so once they bite you they will run away as fast as they can.
Effective treatment for centipede bites
Once you have bitten you should clean the bitten area with water and soap immediately. Make sure to wash the wound at least twice to get rid of the venom. An anaphylactic shock episode typically occurs after a few minutes of the bite so if you start to notice symptoms put pressure on the bite and head to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.
To continue with the first aid place a hot compress on the bite site to reduce the pain and swelling. You can alternate between a hot and cold compress. Take some over the counter pain medication to alleviate the pain. We recommended using any other medication at the doctor’s direction.