Cats eating bugs?
May 10, 2005 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Are centipedes safe for cats to eat?

I posted a related question to MonkeyFilter, however, now I need to know if house centipedes (I am sure we are dealing with those as opposed to silverfish, etc.) are safe for kitties to eat.

This would normally not be an issue as our two older cats are loathe to do anything other than lounge uninterestedly; however, our newest kitty seems to have taken a liking to catching and de-legging them before munching away.

Mr. Oflinkey seems to think he heard somewhere that they are not good for kitties to eat. They do sting (I have been bitten to swollen and painful results) so I worry about little Melon eating them.

If it is no good for kitty to eat, then I need to know about insecticides. I remember a few people mentioning a particular kind of insecticide here on AskMe that is either organic or non-toxic to humans/animals, but I cannot seem to find any threads mentioning it. I know it was mentioned in a rash of "bug" threads.

Any help for Melon?
posted by oflinkey to Pets & Animals (15 answers total)
Oh! Sorry, but I forgot to mention that Melon did have crystals at the beginning of the year, and is on a mix of c/d and s/d prescription food to maintain his urinary tract health.
posted by oflinkey at 9:21 PM on May 10, 2005

this says that all centipedes have poison glands, and as such, I wouldn't let my cat near them.

it also has management options. although you probably already saw this from a google search.
posted by puke & cry at 9:25 PM on May 10, 2005

oh yeah, also, house centipedes are more frightening than death itself. jesus god.
posted by puke & cry at 9:26 PM on May 10, 2005

We had these in our apartment in D.C. last summer, mostly crawlng out of the woodwork surrounding my bed *shudder*. I used about 3/4 of a can of Raid Max roach spray around the seams in the wood, baseboards, and windows. It seemed to keep them at bay for several weeks. However, it stunk up the place something fierce. The precautions say to remove pets before applying, but perhaps you could shut the kitties in one room and then let them out after it dried?
posted by amber_dale at 9:45 PM on May 10, 2005

When I lived at home with my parents, the house they bought was full of centipedes. They were everywhere you looked. We finally heard somewhere that if you sprinkle 20 mule team Borax (laundry aisle at store) around the edges of the rooms, it deters them from coming in the room. I did this around my bedroom and never saw another centipede in there.
posted by airguitar at 10:01 PM on May 10, 2005

Borax is great. I can't speak to the centipede issue directly, but I do know that ants eat it and die a slow, painful death. I've heard it works with many other insects, and seems fairly harmless to humans and pets.
posted by bh at 10:22 PM on May 10, 2005

And I though I was the only one :) My kitty gobbles down anything that moves: spiders, ants, sowbugs, you name it.
posted by koenie at 7:53 AM on May 11, 2005

Borax is also good for roaches. Good for killing them, that is. FYI.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:24 AM on May 11, 2005

I recently heard a story on NPR that said a new study has shown that even trace amounts of insecticides/poisons (Raid) can have serious health side effects, especially in children. I avoid all poisons like the plague whenever possible.
posted by wsg at 10:57 AM on May 11, 2005

Diatomaceous Earth is a good insecticide that is harmless to humans/pets. House centipedes are the scariest looking creatures ever, EVER and personally I moved when a house I rented was found to be infested.
posted by yodelingisfun at 11:21 AM on May 11, 2005

We used Ortho HomeDefense around the outside of our house, and we have seen nary a bug since. Because this is outside, and a very limited application area, I don't have a problem with the insecticide. The borax thing works because of Boric Acid. Here is a helpful link and a place to buy some online. I see no mention of centipedes, but a bug's a bug to some extent. People have also had success with electronic bug repellent.
posted by Medieval Maven at 11:29 AM on May 11, 2005

Other than scorpions, centipedes have to be the most disgusting bug on earth. They are so disgusting and they grow so big and move sooo fast!

I started to notice tons of them a month or so ago. While I was freaking out and screaming, my cat was thinking "yummy, toy AND a snack!" After reading somewhere that a large centipede's sting could kill a baby, I called the vet and they said that it probably was not a good idea for cats to play with them. However, they said that getting stung (bit?) was worse than consuming them. I'm a moron and did not bother to ask how that is possible since consuming them IS consuming the poison.

I've sprayed down the drain in the basement and patched up holes, that has helped somewhat. I still keep doublesided tape wrapped around a broom - my weapon in the war against centipede.
posted by necessitas at 11:35 AM on May 11, 2005

However, they said that getting stung (bit?) was worse than consuming them.

Possibly because of stomach acids breaking down the poison; that and the quasi-quarantine of your digestive system from the rest of the body.

In northern Thailand they have centipedes that grow 8" long. You have to bring a flashlight with you if you go walking on rural roads at night, because if you step on them, you're basically unable to walk for a week. Centipedes are nasty, nasty, nasty.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:22 PM on May 11, 2005

Drione powder is powerful stuff and less harmful than most insecticides. It is considered to be safe around humans and animals, but not bugs. This is the only thing I have seen work on yellow jackets.
posted by kc0dxh at 12:42 PM on May 11, 2005

I think the insect stuff you are thinking of, oflinkey, is Bugs R Done.
posted by QIbHom at 3:13 PM on May 11, 2005

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