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Are Centipedes Poisonous?

Are Centipedes Poisonous?

Creepy, crawly bugs with multiple legs are never welcome in our homes, but are centipedes poisonous? Even though centipedes inject toxins into their prey when they bite, these toxins aren’t potent enough to harm humans. Most dogs and cats are unaffected by eating centipedes or being bitten by them. So, even though venom from most kinds of centipedes isn’t strong enough to harm humans or larger animals, no one wants to deal with centipedes invading their living space. 

If you have a centipede problem at your home or business, we can help! Check out our pricing here. 

What Does A Centipede Look Like?

 Centipedes have a very distinct look which makes them fairly easy to identify. The body of a centipede is usually dark brown to yellow in color. Sometimes they have stripes or other markings. House centipedes are known for having worm-like bodies with multiple pairs of legs, anywhere from 15-177. Curiously, they always have an odd number of legs. They have a pair of sensitive antennae covered with dense hair on their head. Claw-like structures that contain a venom gland are used as arms. Centipedes have extremely small mouths and very poor eyesight. They track their prey through the senses of both touch and smell.

Do Centipedes Bite?

Centipedes don’t actually have teeth, so they really can’t bite you. They have two unique forelegs that look like claws or pincers. These forelegs are filled with a toxin, or venom, that they use on their prey. The “bite” from a centipede will look more like a puncture than a bite mark. While they don’t typically bite humans, you may wake up on occasion to the scratch and sting from a centipede. 

What Does a Centipede Bite Look Like?

A centipede bite or scratch looks like two red marks on your skin, forming a V-shape due to the positioning of the centipede’s pincers. The area surrounding the puncture marks may become red and swollen.  Centipedes bite when they are cornered or feel threatened. Are centipedes dangerous? While their bite is unlikely to do more than cause irritation, it’s always best to contact a healthcare professional as soon after as possible. 

Here’s a list of some of the symptoms of a centipede bite:

  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Swelling at the puncture site
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Anxiety
  • Numbness around the bite
  • Headache

What Do Centipedes Eat?

Some people worry that centipedes consume wood, therefore causing damage and becoming a threat to your home as a termite would. This isn’t the case. Centipedes are carnivorous and prey mostly upon other insects. They love to feast on meat. They prefer spiders, worms, cockroaches, and other soft-bodied insects. Even another centipede could become dinner. Both hunters as well as scavengers, centipedes eat pests whether they are dead or alive. If you spot a large quantity of centipedes in your home, no doubt you have a myriad of other insects lurking about. 

Unlike other insects, the centipede is an active hunter. They seek out their prey and attack instead of weaving webs or building elaborate traps. 

Where Do Centipedes Come From?

Drawn to moisture, centipedes are found in damp areas such as under stones, in trash or leaf piles, in rotting logs, or under loose bark. When they come indoors, they tend to invade basements, closets, crawlspaces, under sinks, or even the soil of your house plants. House centipedes will prey on insects that are in the same area.

How To Get Rid Of House Centipedes

People who have trouble keeping their house clean and decluttered during the day, run the risk of creating the perfect hiding places for centipedes. Their eyes are extremely sensitive to light and seek out dark places to take cover during daylight hours. 

If you stumble upon a centipede in your home or even your bed, there are some steps you can take to get rid of them and prevent seeing them again. But before you can take these steps, you need to figure out what about your home is inviting them inside. Most often, these insects are attracted to the warm and cozy temperature of your house. Centipedes leave their open spaces during the colder months and search for warmer environments. House centipedes usually prefer warm, tropical climates but have proven to be capable of adapting and surviving in almost any habitat they are placed in. Moving inside guarantees a steady supply of food for them since other bugs have the same idea.

Here are some other suggestions that will help stave off unwanted pests in your home:

  • Minimize Moisture

 Many people sleep with a humidifier in their bedroom to keep their sinuses in check. A humidifier blows moisture into the air, causing centipedes and other insects to be more drawn to your sleeping space. The warmth of your bedroom combined with the humidity makes your bedroom very attractive to pests. 

Investing in a dehumidifier is a simple and effective way to ward off centipedes in your bed and home. It sucks the moisture out of the air, making your house far less desirable. A quality dehumidifier will cost less than expensive insecticides and treatments. 

  • Install Bathroom Fans

There are large amounts of moisture in your bathroom, and using a fan is the best way to deal with it. A fan will help the air circulate and then escape through your windows.  Droplets of moisture can settle on your bathroom walls and ceiling, causing excessive moisture. 

Bugs love to hang out around your drains and under your sink. For some insects, drains are a direct highway to your home. Eliminating moisture with a fan will also aid in repelling centipedes from being comfortable in your bathroom. 

  • Seal All Cracks and Holes

Every home has entry points that give insects easy access inside. By securely sealing off all cracks and holes in your foundation and windows, you will diminish unwanted pests. Cutting off entry points will not only keep out centipedes but other bugs and small rodents as well. 

  • Insecticides

There are numerous different insecticides on the market that work well at eliminating centipedes. We don’t recommend going this direction unless you’re seeing a high volume and they’re becoming a problem. Follow directions carefully and read all instructions on the label for best results and for your safety.

  • Contact the Professionals

If all else fails and you’re tired of dealing with centipedes or other unwanted insects, contact a pest control professional in your area. Most companies will come inspect your yard and home so they can form the best plan of attack. From there, they will consult you with their findings and help eliminate your pest problem for good.

Conclusion: Are Centipedes Poisonous?

Life is busy and it shouldn’t have to take a back seat or slow down because of insects, rodents, or pests. If you have questions or need a reliable pest control company to come out to your property, Vinx Pest Control has you covered. We offer a wide variety of pest control services to help you get the treatment you want and need. Our exterminators can come to your residence or business and create a control plan for your specific situation. We serve Dallas – Fort Worth, Charleston, and Greenville SC

How To Keep Centipedes Out Of Your Bed

Just like it’s important to keep your house clean, it’s equally as important to keep your bed clean to keep centipedes away.