The House Centipede bite myth. Has anyone here ever been bitten by a house centipede (for sure)?

Elytra and Antenna

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Messages
2,251
I've seen a number of people claim that house centipedes bite, so for a long time I was afraid to touch them (I'm not a person who ever gets envenomated on purpose) but years ago I found out that many of the smaller centipedes really can't bite despite rumors and stories (yes I am referring to the venemous hug as a bite though the venom is injected with the front legs and not mouthparts). It's very difficult to catch a house centipede without hurting it unless you use bare hands so with time I've become accustomed to catching them with my hands. Unlike stone centipedes which try to envenomate with all their might but are unsuccessful, I haven't observed the house centipedes actually make an attempt (though they are less powerful than stone centipedes and likely couldn't) but I hold them in a closed hand since if the body is grabbed they lose legs by the handful and I couldn't see a feeble attempt. My question is, is there anyone here who has actually been bitten by a house centipede? Not a friend they heard from or a bite they misidentified but an actual visually verified bite?
 

VickyChaiTea

Arachnosquire
Joined
Sep 3, 2010
Messages
97
When we moved into our new house, the basement was and still is CRAWLING with these guys. I have moved them a thousand times out of harms way (especially when we were doing work in the basement) and not once did they ever try to bite. As far as I can tell they're as harmless as fly.
 

Travis K

TravIsGinger
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
2,530
From my experience I would think they are capable of piercing softer areas of the skin.

On a side note. I have been tempted to get some Asian species from a contact I know, but am too cheap to pay the nearly $1K it would take to get them in legally. I don't doubt for a second that the larger Asian sp are more than capable of getting in a successful bite.
 

clockworkorange

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
26
HI Guys,

I witnessed a single bite (I prefer this term as well) by Scutigera coleoptrata on the inner part of a friend's forearm (about 10cm below the elbow) while sampling for this species in rural areas of Southern Italy. We captured hundreds of them with our bare hands and it is the only time a bite ever occurred. Some redness and tingling sensation developed around the bite site. Symptoms disappeared within a few minutes, leaving no mark.

Regarding large tropical Scutigeromorpha, I observed them several times in Malaysia but I never got the guts to capture them! They are generally identified as Thereuopoda longircornis and I still have to find a local tribesman (Orang Asli) willing to catch them... They have the reputation to inflict very painful bites and they are amazingly fast runners: not very encouraging!

Cheers,

Mika
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
7,992
From my experience I would think they are capable of piercing softer areas of the skin.

On a side note. I have been tempted to get some Asian species from a contact I know, but am too cheap to pay the nearly $1K it would take to get them in legally. I don't doubt for a second that the larger Asian sp are more than capable of getting in a successful bite.
Only $1K? The graft and kickback market get flooded with new guvermint offishuls?? (I just read today that presently in order to get any bid on a government project considered, the bidder must cough out up front 1/3rd of the project bid in bribes. Nationmultimedia.com)

Everyone here shuns ALL pedes. Seems to be ingrained into the culture due to so many varieties being bite happy. I once had one of the big red ones go zooming across the porch. The first and only time my sis-in-laws got into my jeep in less than their usual 10 minutes. I'd guess that elapsed time was <15 seconds.
 
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