How to Identify Centipede Bites

How To Identify The Bites

Centipedes use a pair of hollow legs, adapted with claws, to bite into the skin. These pincer-like maxillipeds, also known as toxicognaths or "poison claws," are found under the first body segment and can also cause small puncture wounds and blisters when the centipede crawls across the skin. When a centipede bites (as opposed to stings), it injects venom into victims that is stored in internal glands. Although centipede bites may be painful, they are rarely fatal.

Symptoms Of Bites

The symptoms of centipede stings vary depending on the degree of allergic reaction and the size of the centipede. Typically, bite victims have severe pain, swelling and redness at the site of the bite, with symptoms usually lasting less than 48 hours. Symptoms for those more sensitive to the venom’s effects may also include headache, chest pain, heart tremors, nausea and vomiting.

Victims from centipede bites are often gardeners. The venom administered through a centipede bite is typically harmless, not life threatening to humans and symptoms are fleeting, lasting only a few hours. However, the larger the specimen, the greater the pain will be. Small children and individuals with known insect allergies may experience more severe reactions.

Always contact a physician for advice and treatment of centipede bites.

Why Do They Bite

Centipedes bite in order to defend themselves and to capture their prey.

Risks Associated With Infection

Centipede bites may become infected if not kept clean and the bite wound is not disinfected and properly treated.

Treatment for a Centipede Bite

If there are medical concerns related to a centipede bite, consult a medical professional.