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My Escapes Singapore Bustling, Colourful Singapore Beware of Centipedes in Singapore!

Beware of Centipedes in Singapore!

May 30, 2014

Terrifying big centipedes live in Singapore.
They can be quite dangerous and some hotels are infested with them.
But don't worry too much - they don't roam everywhere like in a Hitchcock movie!

Actually some of them are called "millipedes" (referring to a "thousand legs" instead of "centi-" referring to a hundred)...

Some of them have 15, others close to 200 pairs of legs... imagine how they can run with them.
Usain Bolt doesn't even get close to their performance. They can crawl a lot faster than a speedy cockroach!

Centipedes in Singapore

Disgusting pre-historic centipedes

View Photo Gallery for more travel photos

There are several sub-species of these creatures living in Singapore... The only one I saw were these few on and inside a transparent plastic box (photo above) - on display at a seller's stall in Bras Basah.

The length of what you see on the photo is about a pencil's length. Thickness about 2 cm (rough estimation).

Are they poisonous?

...this is the most frequently asked question about centipedes, but believe me: there are worse things than poison and you don't want to get bitten by one of these!

From my documentation - they're quite poisonous and their bite is painful, but they're not directly deadly.

What's terrible is that they can spread bacteria and viruses.

A man got bitten by one of these monsters and he lost part of his leg!
The story is here by the Jakarta Post.

Apparently, the centipede had spread flesh-eating bacteria onto his bitten foot, which had started spreading and consuming the poor man's limb. In order to save his life, the doctors have amputated his leg from knee down.

Most centipedes aren't considered dangerous, nor highly poisonous, but you can at least get a huge swell and pain, especially if you are allergic to their venom.

Also: centipedes are said not to spread flesh-eating bacteria in general, but they can pick the bacteria up by crawling in infested areas - like trash, remains of dead animals.

I'm going into these terrifying details to attract your attention to centipedes. My intention is not to scare you and these creatures aren't everywhere in Singapore...

The creatures live and thrive in damp wet areas and they like the dark. Sewage canals, wet watery areas and the ground (earth) are their breeding ground. Some of these places are exactly those places where flesh eating bacteria can be picked up.

But some of them roam like cockroaches and I've heard many rumours about them living in bathrooms, kitchens, spreading in hotels and apartment blocks.

I am totally disgusted by these creatures and I feel disgusted by almost anything that crawls and has more legs than a dog!

Honestly: I'd rather meet Godzilla than one of these marathon-running cables with a thousand shoes!

Keep away from them, they are as fast as lightning.

If (by chance) you get bitten by one, seek emergency help immediately - since you're a traveler, the effects of such a bite are unpredictable. The faster treated, the better.
It might after all prove to be an "innocent bite".

Use various techniques to repel insects and prevent getting bitten. You'll be surprised to see how many prevention techniques I've found.

As for flesh-eating bacteria... they're quite rare, but their breeding ground are beach areas, wet muddy areas (including swamps, marshes, mangroves), trash and places where rotten flesh or animal corpses are found.

In most cases, not even locals are exposed to the bites of centipedes or millipedes, I'm only giving you the advice - just in case you're "lucky" to encounter one... or more!

Escape Hunter

About the Author:

Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...


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