Are centipedes dangerous? Well, that depends on who you are. If you are a spider, then centipedes are very dangerous because centipedes are known killers of spiders. They are not, however, known killers of humans, but that doesn't mean they're NOT dangerous. Danger comes in many forms. Centipedes in Hawaii are big. Really big. Big enough to freak you out and make you slip and fall in the shower--which can be a little dangerous.
Do centipedes bite or sting?
Yes. Centipedes bite. The way they do this is they use a pair of hollow legs that are adapted with claws to bite into a person's skin. These pincer-like maxillipeds, also known as toxicognaths or poison claws can cause a small puncture. When a centipede bites, it injects venom into its victims. If you have an allergic reaction to their venom, the resulting symptoms can be severe. Depending on the size of the centipede and the degree of allergic reaction, symptoms will vary. Centipede bites usually cause severe pain, swelling and redness at the site of the bite which typically lasts less than 48 hours. If a person is more sensitive to the venom, they may also experience headache, chest pain, heart tremors, nausea, and vomiting.
If you do not have an allergic reaction, a centipede's bite is still painful. If you've ever been stung by a bee, you have some understanding of what this feels like. A centipede will bite and hang on for dear life, causing a slow burning sensation that will grow from a small area until it encompasses a spot about two inches in diameter. And the pain can be excruciating if the bite occurs on fingers or toes where there are an abundance of nerve endings.
Is there anything you can do to keep centipedes out?
Yes. The following tips will help keep these creepy critters out of your Hawaii home:
Make sure door sweeps are in good working order and screens are in good repair.
Seal up entry points by using a caulking gun to seal gaps and cracks in your walls, foundation, around windows and air conditioning units, etc.
Cover basement floor drains with window screen.
Keep your house as dry as possible by using dehumidifiers and fans.
Clean your home thoroughly.
If you see a centipede, try to kill it or capture it and put it outside.
Contact a pest control company.
If you are seeing centipedes in your Hawaii home, be aware that they could be a sign of something of a larger concern. You may have rot issues and water problems that need to be addressed. Centipedes love moisture and often find their way into a home through areas where wetness has caused wood to rot. And this means other pests can get in as well--pests that are far more dangerous to your health and safety than centipedes. Don't take chances with dangerous pests in your home; let the professionals here at Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions take care of them for you. Life is a whole lot sweeter without giant centipedes slithering around your home.