Two Centipede Bites in Two Weeks: Just When we Thought it was Safe…

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The dreaded Centipede attacks….again!

Here we sit, Kelly reading his book and I writing furiously. Well, I’m not so much writing furiously, as being furious whilst writing!

This post was originally published in 2007. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.

See, just when we thought it was safe to sleep soundly at night; just when we figured that our last middle-of-the-night centipede attack was a rogue and uncommon event; just when we settled in for a night of long-awaited deep sleep….they attacked again.

At precisely 2:23am on Saturday night, I awoke to a bunch of “ouch ouch ouch’s”. Except this time they were coming from me! The pain in my pinky toe on my right foot was unbearable. We spent the next hour shaking out all the sheets and blankets, and nursing my foot which was burning.

Once again, timidly and restlessly, we crawled into bed and made it through the rest of the night.

I didn’t think much more of the event the next day, except to notice that there was quite a bit of swelling and discomfort on my foot. But we had bigger fish to fry – the following day (Monday – today), we were going to the town of Volcano! We had a two day trip planned to the town, which is (obviously) located at the base of the island’s two biggest volcanoes – Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. We wanted to scout out the area, do some caldera hikes, and gather the information necessary for our eventual summit attempt on Mauna Loa (a four day backcountry trip).

The Professional Hobo nursing a centipede bite

The trip to Volcano, although not geographically far, would be an adventure in itself, because of having to catch connections with the public transit system, figure out where bus stops are, and be sure to get on the one and only daily bus from our connection point to Volcano.

But alas, as you notice, I am speaking of our trip to Volcano in the past tense…..because the Attack Of The Centipedes Part II was to be the downfall of the trip!

Over the course of the day yesterday, my foot swelled up more and more, and the general annoyance and pain increased. I popped anti-inflammatorys and anti-histamenes like they were candy, all to no avail. I figured though, that it was a 24 hour reaction, and I’d be right as rain by this morning.

Not so.

By the time I awoke this morning, my foot felt like it was as big as my head. I could barely fit it into my running shoes and put weight on it to do the morning chores, and the writing was plainly on the wall with regards to our trip being kiboshed.

Upon talking to Rick (who is a retired ER doctor – what a great resource to have on hand!), he said that this reaction is normal (I just probably got a higher dose of venom this time) and we’re not to be worried, but that it will likely take about five days to really heal, and that keeping the foot elevated and iced will be best for it. Our planned trip involving three days of extensive hiking was not recommended.

So here we sit, reading and writing, and still enjoying our beautiful view, the warm breeze, and super swells the ocean on our doorstep offers. We will take the trip next week, with no harm done. Luckily, in our position, we have that freedom and relaxed pace to go with the flow in this manner.

Unluckily, it’s because of the stupid centipedes that we’re not going! We are once again fearful of going to bed every night. We are now using the satin sleeping bag liner we made in Toronto specifically for hostel travelling, which is sewn up on three sides at least to disallow creepy crawlies from getting under the covers and at us, and as comfortable and luxurious as it is, it still feels like a compromise of sorts.

And if these attacks continue, and if my reactions get worse, it could be a deal-breaker with regards to our ability to stay here for any length of time. Grrrr!

Centipedes: the worst Hawaii has to offer! Here's what it's like to be bitten by one...twice.

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1 thought on “Two Centipede Bites in Two Weeks: Just When we Thought it was Safe…”

  1. I need an adress to help your night time guys. I’m sorry your off your feet, but what a place to rest. You can literally just kick your feet up and watch the surf. That’s some holistic healing power for ya 😉



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