A common pest in homes, house centipedes mainly eat other insects and spiders. The jaws of most house centipedes are too weak to bite through human skin. House centipedes do, however, have back ends with a stinger. The stinger will release venom into whatever it stings. While symptoms are usually insignificant, some cases have shown that the stings can be dangerous. This is rare, however, and most house centipede stings pose little health risk.
The house centipede “bite” (sting) is typically less painful than a bee sting. If there is a lot of pain, taking a couple of Aspirin can help. If the affected area swells, a cold pack can help the swelling go down. A heat pack is advisable if there is pain but no swelling.
If the affected area is itching, an anti-itch cream may be applied. The area should be washed with soap and water to prevent infection. If unsure whether or not the bite came from a house centipede, it’s best to seek medical help from a doctor.
House centipedes usually find home in damp places—cellars, closets, and bathrooms. They tend to hide out in attics and undisturbed areas during warm summer months. Homeowners may find centipedes stuck in sinks and bathtubs.
House centipedes are more active at night and, with their speed, are able to catch smaller insects and spiders. Effective house centipede control entails elimination of damp areas in and around the home. Residual insecticides are effective at controlling house centipedes. Eliminating house centipedes means no house centipede bites or stings! As always, directions should be followed when using a pesticide.