Centipede and Millipede Bites

January 3, 2011 | Insect Bites

Believe it or otherwise, centipedes are distant cousins of the Lobster, Crayfish and Shrimp, but are land dwellers, living preferably in environments of high humidity.

Centipedes and Millipedes are able to inflict painful bites, especially the larger type of centipede, the injuries often cause swelling and reddening of the affected area, but the symptoms rarely last beyond  a couple of days.

Some Facts About Centipedes and Millipedes.

1.      Both the centipede and the millipede are irritants rather than pests.

2.      Most times they pose no threat to humans, animals or plants.

3.      Centipedes have poisonous claws situated beneath their head, and bite by using these poisonous claws.

4.      Millipedes do not bite as such, but secrete a toxic fluid into their chosen victim, which can be very irritating.

5.      The largest known centipede lives in Central America and can grow to about a foot in length. It has a relative which lives in the USA which can attain lengths of about 6 inches.

6.      If you don’t know about centipedes, it is best not to touch them at all.

7.      The millipede does not have poisonous jaws.

The centipede has a relatively long life, about 5/6 years, and it feeds on smaller insects, by grasping them in its powerful claws, biting and injecting the poisonous venom into the victim.

In humans the effect of a centipede bite is similar to that of a Bee, although no stinger is left behind. Care should be taken however, for people who are prone to allergies.

The millipede is not poisonous, but its toxin may cause extreme irritation, and a possible allergy in sensitive people.

Millipedes can squirt their toxic fluid over several inches distance, and the fluid can leave a bad smell. It is very hazardous if in contact with the human eye, and it is not recommended that millipedes should be handled at all.

Treatment For Contact Or Bite.

n  In the case of a bite or toxic material on the skin, then a good washing with soapy hot water is recommended.

n  In case of poisons or toxics affecting the eye, then immediate washing and rinsing of the eye with warm water is essential, and medical advice sought, if symptoms persist.

n  For the treatment of affected skin areas, then applications of Cortiscosteroid cream or ointment should be tried to relieve the symptoms.

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