How to Feed a Centipede

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How to Feed a Centipede. Centipedes are great, big arthropods that boast nearly two-dozen legs and an aggressive personality. They are venomous animals that attack swiftly and kill live prey with poison. Because centipedes are considered dangerous, though usually not deadly, to humans, they are a challenge for the amateur hobbyist to own. Find out how to safely feed centipedes so you can enjoy this class of invertebrates in your own home.

Things You'll Need

  • Tweezers or hemostats
  • Live or frozen prey, such as crickets, grasshoppers and young (pink) mice

Learn About Your Centipede

Gather information about centipedes before you purchase one. Animals that eat live prey have special needs, and venomous animals can be dangerous. Learn all you can from the seller, or get a book such as "Giant Centipedes, An Enthusiast's Guide" (see Resources below).

Determine what time of day, how often and how much to feed. Centipedes are nocturnal and need to eat once a week or so. Check your resources for the nutritional needs of your particular species of centipede.

Check your resources for the nutritional needs of your particular species of centipede.

Feed Your Centipede

Procure food. Live crickets and grasshoppers can be purchased online or from pet shops. Pre-killed, frozen baby mice are available online or from specialty pet food sources. Find more information regarding feeding from Arachnopets.com (see Resources below).

Use tweezers or hemostats to swiftly lower food into your centipede's shelter. Be sure your pet is not near the lid when you open it, waiting to get out!

Feed your centipede live insects about once a week and a live or thawed frozen baby mouse once a month.

Tips & Warnings

  • Centipedes can vary in price, with some of the more difficult-to-find species in the higher ranges.
  • Purchasing and thawing frozen food can be a moderate time and money investment.
  • Use a red or blue light bulb for observing the nighttime habits of centipedes.
  • Be very careful when opening a centipede's cage, especially to feed it. They move very quickly, and you may be allergic or otherwise sensitive to their poison if they bite you.
  • NEVER lower prey into the centipede's shelter with your fingers. Always use a utensil such as tongs or tweezers.
  • Don't overfeed your centipede. These animals tend to live longer on a spare diet.
  • Prey food that you catch in the wild may carry parasites or disease.

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