All about the Centipede – their habitat, sting, treatment, and how to avoid their bite.
Description: Centipedes have multi-jointed body, each segment having a pair of legs, growing to 30 centimeters (12 inches) long, with each pair slightly longer than the pair in front of it. Centipedes are typically dull orange, red to brown (species that live underground may have no color pigmentation), with black point eyes at the base of the antenna. The rounded or flattened head segment has the first pair of legs, a pair of venom claws called forcipules, which pierce the skin and inject venom. There are over 8,000 species worldwide.
Symptoms: Centipedes are predators and use their antenna to find prey. Their bite can be extremely painful. Symptoms of a bite include swelling, chilling, fever, headache, racing pulse, itching, and weakness. The wound may include visible puncture wounds which may form a circular pattern. Bites are rarely fatal but can be dangerous to small children or persons allergic to bee stings.
Treatment: Painkillers and antihistamines may be given to alleviate pain and swelling. In severe cases, the injured limb should be elevated. Antibiotics should be applied to keep the wound from becoming infected.
Habitat: Centipedes typically can be found under bark, soil, leaf matter, stones and inside logs by day and are active at night. They can be found in a variety of environments from tropical rainforests to arid deserts.