Yellow, Clear Worm Found on Bathroom Rug is a Centipede

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“Is this a centipede?” asks Stacy about the long, yellowish, translucent worm-like creature pictured below. “If not, do you know what it is? I found this on my bathroom rug this morning in Amarillo, Texas. I have heard that these are venomous and have been responsible for fatalities and/or rhabdomyolysis and heart attacks. I hope I am misinformed as I have a small child (along with 3 teenagers) and a dog in the house! Thanks so much!” Firstly, this does look a bit like a centipede, but it is hard to tell given the poor resolution of the photo. For example, from one end of its body we think we can see a pair of antennae, which centipedes do typically possess, but this could very well just be bits of debris in the rug. On top of that, we cannot see the multiple legs sprouting from the sides of its body that centipedes are known for, but when it comes to smaller species of centipedes, these are sometimes hard to see because they are wispy thin.

With that said, we will go ahead and assume that this creature does possess antennae, as well as legs, and we will conclude that this is probably a centipede. Stacy is correct in stating that centipedes are venomous – they can secrete this venom through their forcipules, which are pincer-like appendages near their head which they use to sting prey or threatening creatures. And they can definitely use these on humans that they feel are endangering them. With that said, the venom usually only causes pain and/or irritation, and while there have been a select number of cases of people developing rhabdomyolysis from a centipede sting, it is extremely rare that this would happen to anyone. Similarly, while there have been rare cases of centipede stings causing myocardial ischaemia (an obstruction of blood flow to the heart), which can lead to a heart attack, there have not been cases of centipede stings actually causing heart attacks. Likewise, in our recorded history, there have only been three deaths that have occurred from centipede stings – so that is really not something Stacy needs to be worrying about.

Of course, since centipedes can still cause painful stings, we understand that Stacy would still be worried for her children, as well as her dog (and herself!), so we recommend that she simply move the centipede outside. Usually they can be hard to catch, as their many legs make them incredibly fast, but as Stacy seems to have already caught it, she is in the perfect position to get it out of her home. The reason she found the centipede in her home is either because it wandered in, or it was taking shelter from the weather, or because it was chasing prey (they feed on smaller critters like mites and moths). Given the third possibility, Stacy might want to search her home for any other bugs and give it a good clean too, so as not to attract any other centipedes into her home.

To conclude, we think it is likely that Stacy did indeed find a centipede. Of course, given the low quality of the photo, we cannot make this identification with 100% certainty. Centipedes of this size will not cause serious harm to humans or pets, so Stacy does not need to worry for the safety of her children or dog. We hope this helps, and we wish Stacy the very best!

 

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Yellow, Clear Worm Found on Bathroom Rug is a Centipede
Article Name
Yellow, Clear Worm Found on Bathroom Rug is a Centipede
Description
"Is this a centipede?" asks Stacy about the long, yellowish, translucent worm-like creature pictured below. "If not, do you know what it is? I found this on my bathroom rug this morning in Amarillo, Texas. I have heard that these are venomous and have been responsible for fatalities and/or rhabdomyolysis and heart attacks. I hope I am misinformed as I have a small child (along with 3 teenagers) and a dog in the house! Thanks so much!" Firstly, this does look a bit like a centipede, but it is hard to tell given the poor resolution of the photo. For example, from one end of its body we think we can see a pair of antennae, which centipedes do typically possess, but this could very well just be bits of debris in the rug. On top of that, we cannot see the multiple legs sprouting from the sides of its body that centipedes are known for, but when it comes to smaller species of centipedes, these are sometimes hard to see because they are wispy thin.
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