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With their seemingly endless pairs of legs, centipedes are often considered nothing more than a fascinating curiosity. But as our Carlsbad centipede exterminator explains, centipedes can also pose a surprising threat to humans. 

Physical Features of Centipedes

Centipedes can range anywhere from less than one inch to seven inches in length. Their bodies are usually yellowish to dark brown in color, with some displaying darker markings.

Multiple pairs of legs, ranging from 15 to 177, are the signature feature of centipedes. Despite their name, no centipede has exactly 100 legs since they always have an odd number of legs.

When Centipedes Bite

A centipede's first pair of legs includes fangs known as forcipules, which are connected to a gland containing venom. As carnivorous scavengers, centipedes use the forcipules to incapacitate their prey.

While centipedes are not normally aggressive toward humans, they may bite if they feel threatened. Their bite appears as a lesion with two small holes, although swelling may also occur.

Centipede bites are more painful than dangerous, but histamine and other toxins in a centipede's venom can cause reactions in people who are allergic to bee and wasp stings. Symptoms include fever, chills, nausea and itching, and in extreme cases victims may experience heart palpitations and swollen lymph nodes.

Are Centipedes Running through Your Home?

Don't wait to find out if a family member is allergic to centipede bites. Contact Action Pest for prompt and thorough Carlsbad centipede exterminator services.