What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Please Help Identify
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
November 24, 2015 8:12 am
Hi There,
A colleague found this ‘bug’ dead in a outdoor store room. We have never seen anything like it and it sent everyone running for the hills. Any idea what it is?
Signature: Claudia Handschuh



Hi Claudia,
We love your submitted image.  For the moment, we can tell you that this is a Centipede in the order Scolopendromorpha, and we will attempt to determine a species later in the day.

Wow thanks for the reply! I will let everyone know. I had guesses that it was a cross between a centipede and a scorpion, a little dramatic 🙂

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

10 Responses to Centipede from South Africa

  1. Natalie says:

    We have had these giant centipedes coming into our home. We have had about 7 to date.
    Are they poisonous and do they live indoors. I am terrified that one of these will crawl on me at night! My husband has had one on his face at night already. How can we stop these coming into our home. Our home is double storey and they have only been found upstairs. We live on a green belt in Kei Mouth.

    I would appreciate ALL HELP….

    • bugman says:

      Giant Centipedes are venomous, and the bite is reported to be painful, but not deadly unless there is a severe allergic reaction. We do not provide advice on bug-proofing homes. That is a job for a contractor.

  2. Natalie says:

    Thank You. We are in the process of putting netting wire on all windows and rubberising bottoms of all doors.

    I do remember that I have been very busy in my garden lately turning the ground over and putting in compost etc. This could have upset these creatures together with all the rain we have had in our area lately.

    So glad to have found your site for future!!


  3. Charmaine says:

    Thanks for the info have been searching the web for months,we live in gauteng and get these in our house rather too often.

  4. RITA JOUBERT says:

    How can a Person get rid of them? Any remedy??

    We are camping on a piece of lawn and have found many.

  5. Wickus Buys says:

    We’ve also had many of them in our house. I live in Pretoria, and the other night my grandmother called me to the kitchen, quite terrified, this exact same species of centipede almost went into her shoe. I’ve heard their bites can be excruciating.

  6. Llewellyn says:

    Hi I am residing in bushbuckridge mpumalanga, Northern area. I found this beautiful creepy crawly in my father’s garage and my 10 year old daughter wants to know more about it, biological name, rate of poison and how to identify the species.

  7. Goffers says:

    Cormocephalus nitidus

  8. Melissa says:

    Hi, I have this problem where there are these small grey/black looking centipedes are invading my home. They are everywhere! They don’t bite or do anything towards me or my family, but they are just everywhere!

    • bugman says:

      We believe you are being troubled by Millipedes. You might find some helpful information in this Iowa State University article Masses of Meandering Millipedes where it states: “Millipedes are harmless. They can not bite or sting and they do not feed on structures, furnishings or landscape plants. They do feed on damp and decaying plant material and are ecologically beneficial as “recyclers” of organic matter. They live outdoors in damp areas such as under leaves, needles, plant debris, mulch and similar habitats. The bad news is millipedes often embark on mass migrations, especially on humid, warm nights in the fall and spring, during which time they wander into garages, basements and other parts of the house. All millipedes found inside have strayed in by mistake from breeding sites in the vicinity. Millipedes can not reproduce indoors.”

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