What Does a Centipede Bite Look Like?

By Elizabeth Tumbarello

Centipedes are an insect of the Chilopoda class. Over 20 families and 3,000 species of centipedes have been found worldwide. Most centipedes that the average person will encounter are non-aggressive, with a few notable exceptions, and only bite when they feel threatened.

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Centipedes are an insect of the Chilopoda class. Over 20 families and 3,000 species of centipedes have been found worldwide. Most centipedes that the average person will encounter are non-aggressive, with a few notable exceptions, and only bite when they feel threatened.

Symptoms

Venom tipped pincers are located right next to the centipede's mouth

A centipede's bite is painful, due in part to a pair of venomous tipped claws located directly beneath its head, which is used to inject venom into its prey. This causes localized swelling and redness at the site of the bite, and may lead to numbness of the area around the bite. Small puncture wounds, as a result of the claws, may be perceptible.

Pain

Most centipede bites do not cause significant harm to a person. The pain factor, as well as symptoms and appearance of a centipede bite have been compared that of a bee sting. Larger centipedes produce larger, more painful bites.

Adverse Reactions

Children, the elderly, and those with allergies to other insect venom are at a higher risk for having a severe adverse reaction to a centipede bite.

Treatment

Centipede bites should be washed thoroughly with soap and water. A cold compress may be used in intervals of 10 minutes to reduce swelling at the site.

Emergencies

If a severe allergic reaction is noted, emergency medical attention may be required. Signs of a severe allergic reaction include heart palpitations, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, severe swelling of the lymph nodes or lymphatic system, trouble breathing and headaches.

References

About the Author

This article was written by the Healthfully team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about Healthfully, contact us here.

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