Centipedes are carnivorous arthropods, they are also venomous, and their diet usually consists of worms and insects. Although they are naturally not aggressive towards humans, they could bite if provoked.
Their bites are very painful to people but unlike popular belief, centipede bites rarely ever cause any health complications in humans, meaning their bites are not fatal or dangerous.
However, the venom of centipedes has different toxins such as cardio-depressant toxin-S, histamine, and serotonin, which can pose more serious allergic reactions in people who are allergic to wasps and bee stings.
When one is bitten by a centipede immediate symptoms that occur are pain, redness around the area of the bite, and eventually swelling on the site of the bite, these symptoms tend to last for some hours or even days.
However in cases of severe allergic reactions to the bite some symptoms like nausea, chills, fever, swollen lymph nodes and heart palpitations might start to occur, in this case, it is best to consult a medical practitioner immediately.
So if by chance you found yourself at the receiving end of a centipede’s bite here are things you need to do, according to a piece written on healthline.com and webmd.com;
- Once you locate the bite mark, wash the puncture area and the surrounding area with water and soap.
- Use a cloth or towel to wrap an ice pack and hold it on the bite mark, make sure you do not apply the ice directly on the skin, compress for about 10 minutes and take it off as this will ease the itching and pain and ultimately reduce the swelling.
- Healthline suggests that you can apply heat to the bite, because immersing the bite mark in hot water or using a hot compress could dilute the venom, however, WebMD suggests that using this, could make the bite feel even worse instead of better.
- Take medication to reduce the pain of the bite, such drugs include the likes of anesthetics, antihistamines, and some anti-inflammatory drugs.
- To avoid infection on the wound caused by the bite, one can use an antibiotic and to always keep the wound covered and clean.