Are Centipedes Poisonous? How to Stay Safe!
A fully inclusive guide on centipedes, whether or not they are poisonous, and how you can stay safe around them.
Centipedes. We don’t often think of them as dangerous creatures, do we? Sure, they’re a bit yucky, and have far more many legs than is really necessary for any living being to have, but poisonous – surely not!
Well, you might be surprised.
Today, we are going to be sharing with you, a fully inclusive guide on the centipede, whether 0or not they are poisonous, and how you can stay safe should you come into contact with one.
Do Centipedes Bite Humans?
First things first, we’re going to be answering one of the most commonly asked questions we get about centipedes. Do they bite humans, or do they not?
Okay, so the answer to this is a little complex. Technically, no, a centipede will not bit you, but essentially, yes, they actually will bite you. Read on for a further explanation.
A centipede will attack a human being if they feel threatened in any capacity, and this “attack” although technically neither of these things, will feel like a sting or a bite.
Chances are you’re left wondering how they actually attack if they cannot bite or sting, right? Well, we have an explanation for that too!
Centipedes do not have pincers. Instead, they have a highly – modified pair of legs (amongst their many!) called forcipules, which essentially work the same way that pincers do. These “pincers”, or legs, will grab and pinch the skin of anyone who they feel threatened by, and are likely to break the skin in doing so.
If you’re bitten by a smaller centipede, then this shouldn’t be too painful. It’s likely to feel like the equivalent to a small bee sting. However, the larger the centipede, the worse the pain is likely to be, which won’t surprise you.
Some centipedes actually have sharp claws on their normal “walking” legs, which can cut into human skin, which means if they decide to use you are a mode of transport, it’ll hurt. Ouch!
Read on to find out how this only seems to get worse.
Are Centipedes Poisonous to Humans?
Okay, so we’ve covered that centipedes can attack humans in their own unique fashion, but can this attack be poisonous to human beings?
Unfortunately, the answer to this is an all – round YES. Regardless of the size or species of the centipede, the venom that they inject with their pincers when they attack actually is poisonous. The reason that you feel pain after the attack of a centipede is because of this.
The good news about this venom, is that regardless of the centipede, it isn’t deadly to humans. Hurrah! However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t get any symptoms whatsoever.
The vast majority of people will have minor reactions to a centipede attack, including some pain and swelling. However, for other unlucky victims, it is possible to experience the following:
- Some feelings of anxiety.
- A painful burning sensation.
- Feelings of itching.
- Having a headache.
- The lymph nodes close to the bite being sore, and even swollen.
- Necrosis of the skin.
- Your pulse racing.
- Heart palpitations.
- Some redness.
- Feelings of nausea, and in some cases, even vomiting.
In some more severe and rare cases, in the scenario of the elderly, young children, or those with heart conditions / weakened hearts, an encounter with a centipede has actually caused a heart attack. This has only happened in the case of being attacked by large centipedes, and then the victims failing to pursue any kind of treatment following.
The reality? Literally one or two people per year die due to an allergic reaction to centipede venom.
And yes, we did mention that centipedes can cut you with some of their legs simply by walking on you. It is possible to be poisoned this way, too.
Should I Be Worried?
Last of all, but by no means least, you may be wondering whether or not you should be worried about this.
As we did state above, centipedes will only attack when they feel threatened. Therefore you’ll only come into trouble with one if you accidentally disturb it, or even harass it.
So long as you actively make the decision not to go after a centipede and disturb it, then you should really be safe from the risk of them attacking you.
Thanks for reading!
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