Ouch! Keep an eye out for redheaded centipedes

Redheaded centipedes are venomous and they bite

Giant Redheaded Centipede. (Scolopendridae, Scolopendra heros). Taken in October 2016 in Travis County, Texas. (Alejandro Santillana, Insects Unlocked by University of Texas at Austin)

One of Texas’ most creepy crawlies is the redheaded centipede.

With a recent spike in Google searches about the anthropods, and many families outdoors for Spring Break activities, it’s a good time to brush up on your centipede knowledge.

You might have seen one around San Antonio but they are more common in the Hill Country.

A report from Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine notes that the giant redheaded centipede grows up to 8 inches long in the wild and is known to grow even bigger in captivity.

They tend to avoid sunlight and prefer to stay underground and beneath rocks or decomposing logs and leaf litter during the day so be careful if you’re digging in the dirt or gardening.

A not-so-fun fact about redheaded centipedes is that they are venomous and they bite, however, bites are generally considered mild and not deadly.

Anyone who gets stung by a redheaded centipede generally experiences a sharp, painful sting that can sometimes be accompanied by swelling.

The bites resemble bee stings, according to Safe Haven Pest Control. Other reactions could include nausea, dizziness, headaches, and skin necrosis in some cases.

While redheaded centipedes look creepy, they are also an integral part of the Texas ecosystem.

Redheaded centipedes are carnivorous, eating insects, lizards, frogs, and rodents, according to National Geographic, and they are preyed upon by owls, coyotes, ringtail cats, bobcats, and badgers.

Mother centipedes tend to lay 15 to 60 eggs at a time and coil over them in order to protect them.

Check out this redheaded centipede spotted at Lakehills home near Medina Lake in 2019.

A couple in the Hill Country got a frightening, unwanted visit from one of the creepiest creatures in Texas after heavy rain hit the area this past weekend.


Eek!! Stay away from these dangerous critters in San Antonio and South Texas

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.