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Centipedes: Chilopoda

Centipedes And People

All centipedes are venomous, but smaller species are either unable to pierce human skin, or the effects of their bites are no worse than a bee sting. However, larger species are capable of delivering a very painful bite. Children and elderly people or those suffering allergic reactions may need to seek medical attention. The severity of a centipede bite varies with species and may produce moderate to severe pain for several hours or days, and well as localized swelling, discoloration, and numbness. Many people believe that the legs of larger centipedes are also capable of delivering venom, but this is not true. Inflamed punctures or scratches as a result of a centipede walking on human skin are most likely due to bacterial infection. There have been very few human deaths from centipede bites.

Large species are sold as pets and are frequently used as display animals in insect zoos. Only one species is thought to be of any agricultural importance and feeds on roots. Centipedes do not cause or spread disease. Most species are of little consequence to humans or their activities.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceInsects and SpidersCentipedes: Chilopoda - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Centipedes And People, Conservation Status, Scolopender (scolopendra Morsitans): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET