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Old 09-10-2008, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Corinth, TX
420 posts, read 913,677 times
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Default Centipedes, Scorpions

OK - now that we've found a rental house we've been hearing horror stories about giant centipedes... That they wrap around what ever appendage they nab onto and sting causing all sorts of issues. Some stories involve rotting flesh.

So - tell me true - what do we have to fear from these multi-legged critters??? Anyone have a photo of one?

~Sogs
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Apple Valley, Ca
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Yuck, I can't wait to hear about that. Yes, pictures please.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
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Steve-o should be here soon with info on them. There was another thread a while back with a video link of a giant centipede eating a mouse.

For real though, make sure your place has adequate weather stripping and always wear shoes when you go outside and you'll be fine 99.99% of the time. Oh, and don't look under rocks unless you have a good reason. You're more likely to run into snakes or scorpions in my admittedly limited experience.

If you do get bit, the important thing is to sufficiently cleanse the wound to help prevent bacterial contamination. If in doubt, go to a medical facility and get the wound checked.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Burque!
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When living in Moriarty we had 8" centipedes every now and then (once or twice a year).

Nothing like this "giant" breed. I'm interested to hear more about them.
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Old 09-10-2008, 10:37 PM
 
12,878 posts, read 7,210,548 times
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i've caught giant redheads - Scolopendra heros species- close to 8 inches long east of las vegas.
as far as the horror stories, don't believe the hype. if you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone [assuming you ever even see one].

http://entomology.uark.edu/museum/images/museum_notes/Scol2x6.jpg (broken link)
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Old 09-11-2008, 03:52 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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I grew up in Santa Fe, lived in Las Cruces, Belen and Los Lunas and currently live in Albuquerque. I've never seen a Giant Centipede or Scorpion in the wild. Both of these tend to hang out under rocks and are more likely to be found in Sonoran areas like Arizona or Texas. I was always told they were mostly nocturnal, so were more of a nuisance to be wary of when camping (zip up your tent!). Centipedes have claws on their feet but their sting is only delivered through their front, pincer-like pair and although it can cause pain, I think the flesh rotting goes with the idea that the venom is delivered by each leg. Unless you're allergic, it's going to be like a bee sting. The 8" long guys rybert ran into are the Giant breed around here.

What I have seen is bunches of Millipedes around Petroglyph National Park. They have a window of time where they are so prolific they can be easily seen all around the Park and even the Visitors Center. They're harmless and fun to watch. The regular rhythm of the moving legs is wave-like. In our area, I think you'd be more likely to run into a Black Widow in a cool, dark place like a quiet corner of the garage.

Last edited by ziaAirmac; 09-11-2008 at 03:55 AM.. Reason: note about size.
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Western Chicagoland
18,533 posts, read 48,389,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoggyInSeattle View Post
OK - now that we've found a rental house we've been hearing horror stories about giant centipedes... That they wrap around what ever appendage they nab onto and sting causing all sorts of issues. Some stories involve rotting flesh.

So - tell me true - what do we have to fear from these multi-legged critters??? Anyone have a photo of one?

~Sogs
Well, I can tell you right now that the stories youve heard are fictitious. Giant centipedes from the genus Scolopendra do not wrap around you and repeatedly bite you. Believe me, they can and will bite if they are bothered, but will leave you alone otherwise. Their bites are very painful, and they do deliver a venomous bite (through their forcipules, or "jaws" if you will), but its nothing serious. IOW, you wont die. Expect intense pain and localized swelling, which are the most common effects of the venom. Your flesh will definitely NOT rot, so dont be worried.

The Scolopendrids Ive found in the USA are normally in the 5-6" range, but several have gotten 7-10" before.
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Western Chicagoland
18,533 posts, read 48,389,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uggabugga View Post
i've caught giant redheads - Scolopendra heros species- close to 8 inches long east of las vegas.
as far as the horror stories, don't believe the hype. if you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone [assuming you ever even see one].
I love redheads. Ive found a few down by the MO/AR border and if they werent so dang fast, I would have brought one home with me. Ive kept a few other 'pedes (Scolopendra subspinipes de haani and Scolopendra alternans), but Ive always wanted a redhead.
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:36 AM
 
728 posts, read 1,220,395 times
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We have some pretty hefty centipedes in Hawai'i as well. One put me in the hospital when I was a sickly, 10 year old about a century or so ago! Since then I've been bit 3 or 4 times and it's never any fun.
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Old 09-11-2008, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Corinth, TX
420 posts, read 913,677 times
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Thanks guys! That helps. Mr. Sogs did a quick search last night and found a website with a few scary stories (which we were hoping were all false!!). I don't like bugs per se - and will leave 'em alone if they leave me alone.

We were warned mainly due to our dog who is probably so old he won't bother one either... unless it crawls over him as he sleeps.

We are used to looking for spiders since that's about the only thing Seattle had - plus we hail from TX so are used to black widows and other little nasties!

Thanks for the pic, tho. We'll keep our eyes open and our feet safely enscounced in shoes. Maybe we can get a photo too.

~Sogs
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