My prior centipede post has been viewed over 4,000 times. I’ve been considering ideas on how to put a new spin on this popular topic. Thanks to Jeff I found a way. He got stung by a centipede two days ago and is really feeling the pain.
Our last post gave care ideas which I forgot and Jeff didn’t follow. Mostly because Jeff thought it was an Asian Spiny back spider bite until he saw the two puncture wounds yesterday. When the bite occurred, Jeff felt a jolt of instant pain but never saw what bit him. He was walking through tall grass wearing sandals feeding Muley. Here’s how his toe looked yesterday, and it it is even worse and more purple today.
To ease the pain I thought some warm water would help. It didn’t and actually caused increased swelling and resulted in internal bleeding of bite damaged blood vessels. (Memo to ice next time if this should ever happen again).Our friend, Dr. Catherine Shanahan, gave advice on what to do next time. “Immediately treat the area with either meat tenderizer or stuff it into a mushy ripe papaya. The enzymes in either treatment digest proteins in the centipede’s venom and minimize the symptoms somewhat.” Dr. Cate also suggested cleaning the toe several times a day and using a triple antibiotic ointment, elevation and rest.
Since we’re both mostly vegetarian I’ll opt for a papaya treatment next time. It sounds soothing just thinking about the texture.
I asked friends on Facebook how they treat centipede bites and received much input and support. RJ Tolodziecki has a local remedy, “dissolve Hawaiian rock salt in water and soak.”
Here are some other thoughts to keep in mind if you’re concerned about a similar fate on your Hawaii vacation. Centipedes are not found on any of our beaches so you’re safe walking barefoot. If you’re staying at a vacation rental away from the beach, you may want to check your bedding at night for any unwelcome guests. Should hiking be on your itinerary, wear socks and closed shoes.
Join the club
If you’ve been bit before and thus already a member of the SBACC (stung by a centipede club) and/or have questions about centipedes, please add to the discussion. Let’s see if this post tops 4,000 views. It will help to ease Jeff’s pain.
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