Can you eat centipedes?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat centipedes?”. In addition to this, we will also talk about the centipedes, types of centipedes and their classification as well as the harmful effects of eating centipedes.

Can you eat centipedes?

Yes, you can eat centipedes but not in the raw form rather they are allowed to eat when their head is cut. These species are not edible in every form, rather they are poisonous.

Centipede is a good source of protein, so it can be used as an emergency food in case of any emergency. The emergency can be of different types where a person needs to spend a whole day and then night and there is not enough food available. But this insect is not preferred or recommended food.

One of the main reasons for centipedes not being a recommended food is that this bug always looks for its prey and also it can induce a painful bite in humans. This bug can be poisonous, so it is not a suitable choice to eat especially in the raw form.

Introduction to centipedes

Centipedes are the insects that are being derived from Latin “centi” meaning hundred and “pedes” meaning foot. This means that centipedes are insects that consist of a hundred feet. 

What do centipedes taste like?

Centipedes have an unpleasant taste that is not of rotten or rancid food but it is pungent. This is the smell of dried centipede and it tastes the same as that of meat, fish or hermit crab food and has an underlying grassy flavour.

What do centipedes look like?

The appearance of centipedes when they are present on the ground or anywhere else is described below:


A centipede is an insect that has an elongated body that is flat and has segments. There is a pair of legs that is present in each segment.


There are various colours in which centipedes exist along with different patterns, but the most common species of centipedes have a brown and reddish-orange colour.


The size of centipedes is in different ranges which varies from 4 to 152 mm. This site and its variation of centipedes depends on the species of centipedes.

There are pairs of antennae that are present on the head of centipedes. This pair of antennae are large and sensitive to many surrounding changes and stuff.

Life Span:

Very little is known about the life span of the desert centipede. It is estimated that they live over 5 years.


Centipedes have small mouths which have large structures. These large structures are like claws and they are those parts that contain the venom gland and are thus the poisonous part of the centipede.

Centipedes are among those creatures which are carnivorous, so they search for their prey at night time. These bugs paralyze their victims by using their claws. The prey of centipedes includes worms, spiders and small vertebrates.


As indicated by their name “centipedes’, these bugs have 100 legs is a misleading concept. These bugs have around 15 to 177 pairs of legs.


Centipedes live in different areas of land, so they have different habitats. These bugs are not only found in desert areas but also tropical areas. They are also present at the seashore. Centipedes are also present in the stones, logs, bark, crevices, litter and soil.

In all these habitats, centipedes need a moist microhabitat because they do not have the waxy cuticle which all other insects have. This absence of waxy cuticle water present within their body is lost.

Harmful effects of centipedes

Centipedes bite at rare times and the venom due to the bite can cause mild irritation which is not too harmful. But the possibility of centipede’s bites and their poisonous effects can not be avoided.

As house centipedes eat insects, that is why people consider them beneficial and harmless, but they can be annoying at times. People also crush these centipedes to kill them but crushing them can result in stains too.

Which country eats centipedes?

Not every country in the world eats centipedes but there are some countries where centipedes are being eaten and people like them. In China, centipedes play an important role, especially in traditional medicine. 

But now, there is evidence that eating centipedes in raw form is not suitable and not beneficial in China and other parts of the world.


In this article, we have answered the question “Can you eat centipedes?”. In addition to this, we have also discussed centipedes, how they look, where they live, the harmful effects of centipedes, how they taste and in which countries people like to eat centipedes.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.