Table of Contents
- 1 WHAT ARE HOUSE CENTIPEDES?
- 2 ARE HOUSE CENTIPEDES POISONOUS?
- 3 ARE THERE ANY POISONOUS CENTIPEDES?
- 4 GET RID OF CENTIPEDES WITH THE PROFESSIONALS: CONTACT JOSHUA’S PEST CONTROL
- 5 SOURCES
- 6 AUTHOR BIO
If you’ve ever seen a worm-like bug with too many legs to count, you’ve probably seen a centipede. Centipedes are predatory arthropods that belong to the Chilopoda class. One of the most common questions people ask, aside from whether or not they really have 100 legs, is: “Are centipedes poisonous?” If you’re curious about centipedes and their potential danger to humans and pets, you’re in the right place.
WHAT ARE HOUSE CENTIPEDES?
House centipedes are one of the most commonly encountered pests for homeowners. Despite their creepy and unsettling appearance, these creatures may not be as menacing as they seem.
WHAT DO HOUSE CENTIPEDES LOOK LIKE?
House centipedes are elongated insects with flat bodies that have many legs. The name “centipede” means “hundred legs.” In reality, centipedes can have anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs. A female house centipede’s last pair of legs are much longer than her body—typically twice the length.
House centipedes are usually light yellow to dark brown in color, but they can vary. These arthropods can reach up to 1 1/2 inches in length.
WHERE ARE HOUSE CENTIPEDES FOUND?
House centipedes are typically found in damp and dark areas, such as basements, crawl spaces, and bathrooms. They are active hunters, preying on other insects such as spiders, silverfish, and cockroaches. They are also nocturnal, so you’ll most likely spy them scurrying across the floor at nighttime.
It’s important to take care of a centipede infestation right away, especially if you notice the infestation during the warmer months, which are ideal breeding conditions for the house centipede. Female house centipedes can lay anywhere from 30 to over 100 eggs in their lifetime (which can be anywhere from 1–6 years).
ARE HOUSE CENTIPEDES POISONOUS?
No, house centipedes are not poisonous to humans. However, a house centipede can sting you, and although not poisonous, it certainly can be painful, causing swelling and itching similar to a bee sting. This is because house centipedes’ stings aren’t potent enough to cause harm to you or your pets—their venom isn’t strong enough to affect such large mammals. Regardless, we don’t recommend handling these creatures.
ARE THERE ANY POISONOUS CENTIPEDES?
Centipedes come in different colors and sizes and are found all over the world. Some of the species to look out for include:
TEXAS RED-HEADED CENTIPEDE
This species is known for its bright red head and is found in the southwestern United States. It has a potent venom and can deliver a painful bite if handled or threatened.
AMAZONIAN GIANT CENTIPEDE
This species of centipede is commonly found in the tropical rainforests of South America. It can reach up to 8 inches in length and is known to be venomous, using its venom to immobilize prey before feeding.
GIANT DESERT CENTIPEDE
As the name suggests, this species is found in desert regions of the southwestern United States and Mexico. It is the largest species of centipede found in North America (reaching up to 8 inches in length) and has a potent venom. Bites from this species can cause pain, swelling, and redness, but it is not considered to be fatal to humans.
Despite the existence of venomous centipedes, remember the majority of species are not poisonous to humans. Centipede venom is specifically adapted to immobilize and subdue smaller creatures like insects and rodents, making it less potent for larger animals like humans. However, that’s not to say that venomous bites to humans won’t cause pain, swelling, and even infection if not treated properly.
It’s also important to note that while not poisonous to people, some species of centipedes can be poisonous and even fatal for pets. If your dog or cat is bitten by a centipede, they may exhibit symptoms such as a bump or hive, excessive drooling, decreased appetite, restlessness, or pain and discomfort. You’ll want to take them to a veterinarian right away.
GET RID OF CENTIPEDES WITH THE PROFESSIONALS: CONTACT JOSHUA’S PEST CONTROL
Centipede infestations can be unsettling, but the good news is, there’s help out there. If you’re tired of seeing these creepy crawlies in your home, it’s time to bring in the professionals. The pest control experts at Joshua’s Pest Control are highly trained and equipped with the knowledge, equipment, and experience to get rid of any pest that is trying to invade your home. If you’re ready to say goodbye to centipedes, reach out to Joshua’s Pest Control today.
Courtney Enzor has worked in the pest control industry for about a decade. From helping you build a fly trap to giving you the best tips for identifying various bugs, she loves answering all your pest-related questions and sharing her pest-related expertise through writing. At the end of the day, she hopes her content will help people avoid mishaps and keep families happy and healthy!