¿Are the centipedes poisoning?
Centipedes are predators and poisonous. The venom is produced by a gland located at the base of the fangs and is administered by the maxilipeds of the first segment of the body. To catch prey, the venomous gland is tightened by the surrounding muscles and expels toxins through needle-like ducts.
Smaller variants of centipedes, such as orange-colored Scolopocryptops, produce nothing more than a painful localized reaction, not unlike a bee sting. Larger species, however, administer more venom through their sting and can produce intense pain. While centipede bites can be very painful, they are not usually fatal to people. The pain of a biting centipede can last for several days. However, an experiment conducted in the 1920s concluded that pain commonly disappears after a few hours.
Swelling may occur around the sting and some victims may experience nausea, sweating, and swollen lymph nodes after an attack.
Young children and people with known allergies should be observed carefully after a centipede bite. If more severe reactions occur, contact a physician immediately.
Centipede pliers, such as maxilipeds, also known as toxic pliers or “poisonous claws”, are adjoining the head. They are used to bite prey and predators, including other centipedes, and are able to release toxic poison.
To defend themselves, centipedes also use camouflage and adtematic or warning coloration, and can autotomize appendages, that is, discard segments captured by predators in order to flee.
Symptoms of Centipede Stings
Gardeners are often victims of centipede bites. For most people, the sting of a centipede is harmless, resulting in a painful sting and symptoms that pass after a few hours. Although at least benign, such as a bee sting, the pain can be worse the larger the specimen.
Small wounds, such as punctures, may be noticeable in the area of the bite. Swelling of the tissue in that area may show redness or erythema. More severe symptoms include headache, palpitations, nausea, vomiting, anxiety and lymphangitis, a painful inflammation of the lymph nodes.
Treatment of Centipede Sting
Pitting victims should wash the area with soap and water and then apply cold compresses at intervals of 10 minutes. For people with circulatory problems, these intervals can be decreased to avoid damage to the skin. For those with other insect allergies, you should be alert after a centipede bite and may need to contact emergency medical services for more severe symptoms.