If you’ve never seen a real centipede in your life, then you have a pretty blessed life.
But then again, it won’t be for long because centipedes do exist in Singapore, so it’s just a matter of time before you scream when you see one.
Caterpillar Vs Centipede
Lest you confuse centipedes with the cute caterpillar, here’s an image of a caterpillar that you so want to cuddle.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is an image of a centipede that you’ll scream when you see one.
Are you done with your screaming? Okay, so here are the facts.
Four Different Types With 29 Different Species
According to Singapore Wild Animals, there are four different types of centipedes in Singapore, with about 29 different species of them.
The most common one is the scolopendra subspinipes (even the name sounds scary, isn’t it?), and yes, it’s big as hell.
With a length of up to 20 cm, it is considered one of the largest centipedes.
Aggressive & Venomous
Well, the first thing to note is that it is actually quite an aggressive creature. According to petbugs.com, it will consume any creature that is smaller than them, even mice.
In other words, you should not attempt to mess with it—it’s not like our good friend cockroach that will run away at the sight of you.
And the next common question is this: is it poisonous?
Many people might have the misconception that centipedes are poisonous and can kill—heck, before doing research on this article, I, too, thought their bites would kill.
Here’s the thing: centipede do bite people, and they do have venom in their bite.
But here’s the other thing: usually, their bites are not life-threatening.
According to Orkin, a pest control company, the symptom will only last for a few hours. The bigger the centipede is, the greater the pain would be.
While these bites are generally harmless (except for the pain), people with insect allergies, or small children, might have more serious consequences upon a bite and need medical attention.
Whatever it is, it’s advisable to consult a doctor if you feel that it is serious.
So far, there has only been one confirmed fatal bite. A seven-year-old girl from the Philippines was bitten on her head and she died 29 hours later—there was no other information pertaining to this instance.
Back home here in Singapore, a 56-year-old diabetic Singaporean then in 2011 was bitten by a small centipede in his shoe.
The bite was severely infected and therefore his leg had to be amputated. However, the source of the bacteria that caused the infection isn’t the centipede as centipedes do not carry them.
Whatever is the case, here’s one takeaway:
Yes, giant centipedes exist in Singapore, and they’re big, scary and can bite, but generally, they can’t kill you.
Although it must be said that if you feel something really wrong after a bite, do remember to seek medical attention.
Saving a few dollars isn’t worth your life.
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