A-z - Animals

Home Centipede Bites: A Cause for Concern?

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The house centipede is one of the most common species of centipede. There are approximately 3,000 species of centipedes discovered, and it is estimated that there may be more than 5,000 more. Centipedes are the species you're most likely to come across; as their name suggests, they have a habit of entering people's homes.

Like other centipedes, they prefer dark, damp habitats. Insects are their main attraction, why households with bug problems also have indoor centipede problems.

If you have centipedes in your home, then you might be wondering – do centipedes bite? If so, were their bites fatal or minor? Let's take a look at the nature of indoor centipede bites here.

How painful is a centipede bite?

House centipede bites cause concern-1
Although painless in most cases, a house centipede bite can cause some discomfort.

©Igor Nikushin/Shutterstock.com

Do house centipedes bite? Unfortunately, yes. Centipede bites are generally painless, but pain can vary from person to person. Their bite is similar to the pain of a bee sting. If you are more sensitive to their venom, you may experience more serious side effects. Centipede bites are generally not fatal, but bites do have side effects.

People bitten by house centipedes may experience swelling, nausea, redness at the bite site, headache, chest pain, and vomiting. For most people, a bite is harmless and causes only mild discomfort. Serious side effects from house centipede bites are rare. People who are allergic to its venom are more affected.

Treating Centipede Bites?

Unless you have severe symptoms, treating a centipede bite at home is easy. Redness and pain in the affected area are some of the symptoms you will experience after being bitten.

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A warm or cold compress will help reduce swelling and associated pain. Ointments and anti-inflammatory medications may also be applied to the bite to help relieve pain.

If you are allergic to indoor centipede bites, taking allergy medication can also help treat centipede bites. Side effects of bites are mild for some people and may not require treatment.

The side effects of a bite usually take about 48 hours to wear off. If you develop any serious problems from a centipede bite, it is recommended that you see a doctor, which can help speed up the recovery process.

Prevent indoor centipede bites.

Do centipedes bite if left alone? Bites from house centipedes are rare, but still possible. They are more likely to bite if provoked. If you see a house centipede, don't pick it up with your bare hands. Instead, use a container to bring it outside. Some people believe in them as a natural way to get rid of unwanted bugs in the home, not to get rid of them.

Centipedes, including house centipedes, are nocturnal, so you're likely to encounter them at night. During the day they rest in dark, damp shelters, venturing out at nightfall.

If you have house centipedes in your home, you should always use a flashlight or turn on lights to avoid accidentally irritating them. A bite can happen when you least expect it, especially if you accidentally bump into it.

If you have small children or pets, getting rid of them at home is probably the best option. Pets and children are curious and may accidentally get themselves into unwelcome situations. Getting rid of indoor centipedes is easy and one of the best ways to prevent bites from happening.

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Eliminate Indoor Centipedes From Your Home

If you have a problem with indoor centipedes, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent them from living in your home. Centipede bites occur more frequently when there are large numbers of centipedes. Knowing what attracts these centipedes will help get rid of them and make your home more comfortable.

How to prevent indoor centipedes:

  • get rid of their food sources
  • Seal holes and possible inlets
  • Clear debris and areas where they can hide
  • use scents or insect repellents

Using these tips, you should be able to reduce their numbers and prevent more bites from occurring.

Getting Rid of Centipede Food in Your Home

what do centipedes eat
Removing prey insects from your home is one way to prevent indoor centipede infestation.

©iStock.com/Víctor Suárez Naranjo

The main reason centipedes come to your home is to find food. Infested homes already attract more of these animals, making centipede bites more likely. Centipedes are carnivorous and will be attracted to insect-infested homes.

Some of their prey include spiders, bedbugs, earwigs, silverfish, crickets, moth beetles, and other small invertebrates. You can use these species to help with insect problems, but eliminating pests from your home can also help keep them from living indoors.

Sealing holes and means of entry

Indoor centipedes have tiny, worm-like bodies that can enter your home through small cracks or holes. If you don't have swarms of centipedes in your home, they may still find their way. Centipedes' massive legs help them navigate the smallest of spaces. They may also use bathroom crevices to hide during the day. Sealing an area like this will keep more pests out, reducing the chances of indoor centipede bites.

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use insect repellent

Insect repellants can be used to repel centipedes and stop them from taking over your home. Natural oils like tea tree, cedarwood, and lavender are natural ways to keep them out of the house. The strong-smelling essential oils repel centipedes and other pests such as mice, cockroaches and spiders.

Indoor centipedes can be beneficial to your home, but their bites may make you want to limit their presence. While not very painful, their bite can cause some discomfort. Reducing their numbers in your home will help prevent future bites and allow them to continue feeding on other insects outside.

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