Are Centipedes Poisonous?


According to the Center for Disease Control, the common household centipede has a poisonous venom that is not considered toxic to most humans, though the bite is often painful. Smaller children and persons with bee sting allergies face potential anaphylactic shock if bitten by larger centipedes.

Centipede venom is used to incapacitate or kill their prey before consuming it. The centipede injects its venom through a pair of fangs that are actually an evolved pair of front legs. Centipedes are not insects but are close relatives of the crustacean family.

Though named for its “one hundred” legs, a centipede can have as few as 20 legs or as many as 300 depending on its body size.