How to treat a centipede bite

Written by ehow contributor
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How to treat a centipede bite
A centipede. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Centipedes have a painful bite, but the good news is that the pain is often the worst of it. Centipede bites are not toxic enough to be deadly. If you are bitten by a centipede, here are steps that you can take to treat the bite.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Remain calm and do not panic. The bite will hurt and may cause swelling, but is treatable.

  2. 2

    Wash the area with soap and water.

  3. 3

    Apply a hot compress to reduce the pain. Or, if you have swelling, use an ice pack or cold compress to help relieve it.

  4. 4

    Try taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen to counter the pain.

  5. 5

    Treat the itch of a healing centipede bite with the application of a hydrocortisone cream.

  6. 6

    Watch the area of the bite for any infection. While an antibiotic is not a first step for treating a centipede bite, it is important if an infection develops. Watch for this closely.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have been bitten by a centipede, make sure that your tetanus shot is up to date.
  • In the case of the worst bites that develop infections, necrosis (tissue death) is possible, but is localized and will heal on its own.

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