This is not exactly a major news story,  but I was walking with family members along Water Street in St. George's on Friday evening during the annual St. George's National Trust walkabout, which is an event not to be miseed,  when we came across a good-sized live centipede wriggling around in the road.  See photo below:-

Live centipede next to size 11 shoe!  About 4 inches in length

Having worked on the beat in St. George's in 1965-1966, I had seen a few live centipedes, usually in St. David's, but for the past 45 years the only ones I've seen are those white specimins in jars in a small shop window on Coot Pond Road, which were always fascinating to our children and to visitors.

Centipedes have a vicious sting or bite and we used to have occasional calls about someone been badly bitten, but that seemed like a thing of the past  - until Friday night.

I wonder how many of us have seen live centipedes,  and how long ago was it?

 

5th December 2017

We just received the following from Ray Sousa who certainly had his experiences with the dreaded centipedes:-

When I was a young child in the 50s living in Harrington Sound and Bailey’s Bay, plus spending a lot of time in St. David’s and St. Georges, red centipedes were extremely common. They were the source of nightmares, pranks and jokes.

They could be found in cellars, caves, other damp areas and generally anywhere. The worst I recall seeing was when my father took me to a job to clean an underground water tank. Shining a bright light into the tank we saw the walls covered in large red centipedes. It was a major job getting rid of them using blow torches.

After been teased one day, I remember waking up screaming at night that I was covered with the red pests that were biting every part of my body. Of course all kids knew witches used centipedes in their stews and spells!

I also recall attending a county cricket match when a batsman was bitten on the inside of his thigh. In the middle of the pitch his pants were pulled down and another player rendered “cut and suck” First Aid. The batsman played on, but the First Aider was taken to hospital for treatment!

Needless to say, crude jokes and requests for similar first aid followed. The article indicated that there are less of the red demons around nowadays.

Are present day ‘high tech’ witches doing a better job now? Such was one of the many challenges we had growing up in Bermuda in the 50s.

Ray Sousa 5/12/17

 

Editors note  - Many thanks for that insight Ray. I always thought  Bermuda's centipedes were restricted to St. Davids, St. George's and Ferry Reach but that does not appear to be the case as reported in an article in the Royal Gazette  (21st October 2014) which can be viewed at http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20141021/NEWS/141029934

 Bermuda Centipede
(Photo courtesy the Royal Gazette)

 

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Comments  

#2 John McQuaid 2018-01-25 21:59
I once found one at Harmans Bay, where Dave Barber now lives, about 8 inches long. Box-head Foggo once told me how he once found one tucked into his new baby's groin, enjoying the dampness of his diaper. He told me that after a great panic, he flicked it off with a cane and then hammered it into small pieces with a lump of coral.

Editors note - Thanks John. You just burst the myth that centipedes are only found in St. David's and the Eastern Parishes. Definitely a cringeworthy story about Boxhead's find!
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#1 terry 2017-12-05 16:22
Re your 'Note".
They were restricted but then with much more traffic coming after this they seldom made it past Crawl or Devils Hole.
Just like Wall Lizards are mostly centralized.

Not too many make it across the bridges an aint two menny valls laft.....
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