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There are two types of centipedes that can be found in Arizona, the Banded Desert Centipede and the Giant Desert Centipede. As with other types of centipedes, both of these have flattened bodies that are divided into many segments, with one pair of legs for each segment except the first and the last segment. These Arizona centipedes also have antennae.
Centipedes in Arizona prefer to remain outdoors but, like any insect, they can get indoors sometimes. Since Arizona centipedes could potentially bite, contact Western Exterminator if you find a number of them in your home so we can help get rid of centipedes in your home.
Centipedes usually hide during the day and can be found in litter, soil, under stones, in tree trunks, and under logs. When in the home, centipedes are most often found in dark corners such as closets or basements. Desert centipedes are most commonly found in the southern and southwestern parts of the United States and in Mexico.
The Giant Desert Centipede has an orange body and can grow up to eight inches long. The tail and head are black. Legs are yellow-orange in color. The Banded Desert Centipede is tan and brown and usually grows to about four or five inches in length. Both kinds of centipedes have protruding pincers, called gnathosomes, behind the legs.
Centipedes are carnivores and consume insects, frogs, lizards, and rodents. Centipedes generally only attack prey that is smaller in size than the centipede itself. Prey is captured by injecting venom from the poison sacs within the body using the gnathosomes. The gnathosomes are hollow and are used in a fashion similar to a syringe. Once the prey has been immobilized, the centipede will eat the body.
While often called a “bite,” centipedes actually use the gnathosomes to pinch or pierce perceived threats. Centipedes are venomous, but the sting usually does not require hospitalization unless the person is sensitive to insect venom. The sting of a Giant Desert Centipede is more painful than that of other types of centipedes, and may leave a mark and sensitivity for up to a few weeks after the attack.
After being bitten by an Arizona centipede, it is recommended that the area be washed as soon as possible to prevent infection. Ice may be applied, as the area will often become inflamed. Since giant centipede bites are usually very painful, victims may wish to use a local anesthetic.
If the pain is unbearable or the affected area shows signs of allergic response, the victim should seek medical treatment. Medical professionals will help victims to prevent infection, mitigate allergic reaction using antihistamines, and seek to dull the pain.
If you have a lot of centipedes on your property or are finding a lot of them inside your home, you may want to find out how they are getting in and why they are finding your home such a preferable place to live. A Western Exterminator centipede specialist can inspect your property and determine where centipedes are accessing your home and determine a way to get rid of centipedes and provide solutions to prevent them from returning.
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