Centipedes, either at home or in the wild, look deadly.
Centipedes can bite you. And their bites are painful because they carry venom.
The bigger the centipede, the more poison it has, and the more painful the bite is.
But can centipedes kill you?
Keep reading it find it out.
Can Centipedes Kill You?
No, centipedes can’t kill you. Despite their bites being painful, it’s unlikely that you’d die from a centipede bite.
And centipedes are unlikely to bite you unless you provoke them, or they face life or death situations.
It’s because they’re shy. A centipede’s first reaction is to hide when it comes across you.
That’s the reason you’d find centipedes scurrying across the floor when they encounter you.
On top of it, centipedes won’t like to waste their venom on creatures they can’t kill and eat.
Developing venom inside their body takes a lot of their energy. Centipedes would rather preserve it for hunting their prey rather than wasting it.
So, if you ever come across a house centipede in your home, don’t think that your life is at risk.
House centipedes don’t carry the risk of infestation or diseases. House centipedes are carnivores, and they hunt other bugs and insects.
In many cases, centipedes are beneficial for your home and yard because they clean up many undesirable pests.
However, in the wild, there are several dangerous giant centipede species. These centipedes are predators, and they hunt birds, spiders, lizards, rodents, and bugs.
Most of the giant centipede species are in South East Asia and Australia. In the US, one giant centipede species in the wild. It’s known as Scolopendra Heros.
Are House Centipedes Poisonous To Dogs And Cats?
Unless provoked, house centipedes seldom bite pets like dogs or cats.
If a centipede bites your pet dog or cat, then he can face some irritation. That’s all.
A house centipede’s bite will not kill or make your pets sick. It’s because the amount of venom that house centipedes have is not enough to kill big creatures like humans, dogs, or cats.
What To Do If A Centipede Bites You?
If a centipede bites you, then you would feel a firm pinch on the skin.
Centipedes use their pinchers to bite you rather than a string to penetrate your skin.
A centipede bite can make you feel numbness, itching, soreness, and irritation in the bite area.
The best thing to do after a centipede bite is to use an antiseptic solution mixed with warm water at the place of the bite.
After that, use an ice pack on the place of the bite to reduce the swelling. Use essential oil like lavender or peppermint in the area of the bite. It’ll provide you instant relief from pain and swelling.
But if you’re allergic to bug bites and the pain is unbearable for you, visit a physician asap.
Will Centipedes Crawl On Your Bed?
Yes, centipedes can crawl on your bed. If your bed has hiding bugs like bed bugs, crickets, and ants, then they can attract centipedes.
But is your bed a living or hiding place for centipedes? No, it isn’t.
Centipedes prefer to live in damp places and hide in the small cracks and gaps.
So, the basement, bathroom, and kitchen are more apt for the centipedes to live and hide.
Being scavengers and hunters, centipedes would crawl in your entire home looking for food rather than just hiding in your bed.
Do Centipedes Crawl In Your Ear?
If centipedes are on your bed and given their preference to hide inside small holes, centipedes can crawl into your ear.
But there haven’t been any recorded cases of a centipede crawling into human ears, except one.
If you see a centipede on your bed, it’d be best if you shove it off of your bed rather than killing it.
Centipedes avoid human contact at all costs.
Can Centipedes Swim?
Yes, centipedes can swim, but not for long.
Centipedes breathe or take oxygen from the air through the pores under their legs. They don’t have noses as mammals have.
So, if centipedes are in the water for long, then they’d drown and die.
Which Is More Dangerous – Centipedes Or Millipedes?
Neither of them is dangerous to humans. Centipedes can bite, but millipedes discharge a liquid when provoked. That liquid causes itching and burning sensations on the skin.
If the liquid gets into the eye, then it can cause severe irritation on the eye.
Why Do You Keep Finding Centipedes Inside Your Home?
There are three reasons for centipedes inside your home –
- The weather outside is too hot or too wet for them, and they’re looking for a more habitable place to live.
- There are other bugs inside your home that are attracting the centipedes.
- High dampness in your home attracting the centipedes.
Centipedes hide under rotting wood logs, stones, and decaying organic matter outside of your home, like foliage and mulch.
Once inside your home, centipedes would hide in the gaps and cracks on the floors and the walls.
They would look for damp places. So, centipedes prefer the bathroom, kitchen, and basement. These places have enough hiding places and bugs to eat.
Why Should You Never Kill A House Centipede?
Apart from being harmless, centipedes don’t want to stay in your home for long.
Your home isn’t an ideal habitat for a centipede. When the weather outside your home is favorable for them, they’ll move out.
Centipedes don’t carry any diseases, neither do they bring infestation risks. They don’t even damage anything, like wood or fabric, inside your home.
Instead, centipedes help you in keeping your home bug-free by eating them all.
Rather than killing centipedes, you can make them leave your home by spraying a mixture of white vinegar and water in your home. Centipedes avoid vinegar like the plague.
If you squish a centipede to death, then the fats out of the centipede’s body can attract pests like ants and roaches inside your home.
Wrapping It Up
House centipedes can’t kill you. It’s because their venom isn’t sufficient and poisonous enough to kill a human being.
Centipedes are shy, and they avoid human contact. And they’d try their best not to bite you.
But they can bite you if provoked. A house centipede bite isn’t unbearably painful.
If a centipede bites you, you will face some pain, swelling, and numbness in the bitten area.
Apply a bit of antiseptic mixed with warm water on the bitten area to eliminate the venom. For reducing the swelling, apply some ice.
Read our guide on how to get rid of centipedes if you’re noticing centipedes in your home.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.