Centipede Invasion

April 15, 2006

Our home has been invaded by centipedes. It started earlier this week when Noah found one on the carpet in the living room. It was a baby one and luckily he didn't touch it. We had a discussion about how centipedes can sting and they aren't friendly critters. Two days ago, Noah calmly called to me "Excuse me ,Mama. I have something to show you". Nothing in his voice sounded alarming so I made my way slowly towards the living room thinking he wanted to show me one of his matchbox cars. Nope. It wasn't a matchbox car. It was a HUGE centipede about six inches long with lots of big, red legs and pinchers. And it was crawling right next to him on the ottoman!

I quickly swung into action grabbing an umbrella and a pair of garden shears...the official tools of professional centipede hunters. Centipedes are quite the fighters...they are fast, move like snakes, and will attack in any way possible. I knew I had to be swift and decisive in my actions. I pinned him with the umbrella (Noah's special toddler sized Shinkansen umbrella) and then attempted to decapitate him (I am normally not a bug killer or cruel to animals, but I was reacting in protective Mama mode). It took some effort because the centipede was tough(literally tough to cut through his body). Noah was watching the whole "event" and decided to help me out by beefing up my arsenal. He brought me a foam bat and several wooden blocks and then quickly backed away from the battle scene. Once I was finally able to cut the centipede into two pieces I breathed a sigh of relief..but not for long...he was still trying to attack me. I was able to put both squirming parts (head and tail) into a tupperware container.

Now here is the really disturbing part. That centipede continued to move and squirm for two days! Do centipedes regenerate? Was this an especially agressive Okinawan species? And the bigger question...is there a nest of them? how do I protect my home from further invasion? If you have these answers, please let me know! I will be calling the military housing office on Monday for some advice, but until then I am continually checking for signs of further invasion.

I have calmly accepted and at times even enjoyed all of the Okinawan critters that live in our yard...the large fruit bats (remember the flying monkeys from Oz? that's what they look like at night swooping around our banyan trees), the noisy geckos that dart around, the jumping spiders, the monkey lizards (large green lizards living in our palm trees), and I have even become a little less paranoid about the deadly habu pit vipers that slither in the bushes....but this centipede invasion has really gotten to me.
Ann said...

why have I not known about your blog?
Anyhow, your family is gorgeous and Camille looks great. I thought your dh was a doc, but I wasn't sure, now I know. He's not in his residency is he? Maybe I read that wrong. I'm a nurse at Wolfson's, the childrens hospital here in Jax. Well anyways we do have centipedes, but I normally don't see them that big. We do have lizards, lots and lots, and lots and lots of lizards..everywhere, I don't know where they hide. But they sneak in the house a lot. Noah will love it. All little boys do. Have a wonderful Easter.

Roomie said...

Lucia, I heard that if you put the centipede's disembodied head on a pike (toothpick) out in front of your house as a warning to other centipedes, they will stay away. Not sure if that'll work though.


Anonymous said...

Those things are really dangrous. You did the right thing to kill it. These are insects that will send you to hospita, so don't be afraid to attack them. I don't know too much about them, but her is a site on them and maybe it can answer some of your questions:


Yes, they r not easy to kill and they've got armour! There was one near my futon lss than 1 hour ago, so in China, Vietnam & even Hawaii you have thes things. Nest? I hope not. If you fin dout about that, please post something.

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