The Horror. A Centipede in My Sports Bra…



I’ll admit it. I’m very squeamish when it comes to bugs. If a kamikaze cockroach dive bombs at me, you will hear that scream all the way on Ni’ihau! Cockroaches, bees and maggots give me the creeps BUT it wasn’t until my first centipede that I learned what the saying “makes my skin crawl” truly means.


Maybe it’s deeply rooted in my childhood fears and therefore it manifested itself so vividly when it crossed over from a nightmare to reality.


I was woken up by something crawling in my sports bra. (Is your skin crawling yet?)


I was in such a deep sleep that I grabbed it with my right hand. I felt it slither in my fingers. Lots of legs. I dropped it on my neck.


The realization hit me like a ton of bricks. It felt like a centipede. Or what I imagined a centipede would “feel” like though I would never ever ever really want to imagine what that feels like.


I instinctively – half asleep still – grabbed it again with the same hand and threw it on my left. I was sleeping on my back so I sprang up into a seated position and screamed for my husband to kill the centipede – that I just threw in his direction!


He thought I was crazy.


And… after ten minutes of him searching and finding NOTHING. I thought I was crazy too.


He looked in the sheets. He looked in the comforter. On both pillows. Under the bed. All over the floor. I was hallucinating. At this point, where the “thing” had landed on my neck… was beginning to feel itchy. My neck was turning red like a rash.


I asked my hubby if he had ever been bit by a centipede. He had, and said that there are two pitchers, you feel it immediately, it’s worse than a bee sting and it usually turns black and blue. Well that certainly wasn’t what I was dealing with. What else could that thing have been??


Was it a cockroach he asked? I thought… what could it be that is similar to the feeling of a centipede?? Kaimi kept looking but we were both feeling like the thing had either gotten away or… OMG – was a VERY VIVID DREAM.


I had him check the sheets again cowering in a corner. I was across the room the whole time but I inched forward and checked some pillows near the bed – nothing.


I’ve had this stuffed animal I call “doggie” since I was born. I’ll admit it. I take it with me everywhere. The thing is a world traveler. For some reason, it makes me feel safe when I go to sleep. It fits perfectly in the nook of my arm.


my bed doggie


My husband had put doggie back into the middle of the bed. I picked up my doggie and shrieked – “ahhhhhhhhhhhh!”


There it was. A CENTIPEDE. In my bed. On my doudou (stuffed animal in French). Dark brown just like my doggie. We had been ready to climb back into bed with it. I jumped and ran and shrieked and cried – heaving, sobbing tears, totally terrified type of crying. I immediately started hyperventilating. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so scared in my life. I couldn’t shake the feeling of that thing crawling on my body. Kaimi told me to take Benadryl just in case it had actually bit me on the neck. I’m shuttering thinking about it.


PS – As I’m writing this. Kaimi played me in “words with friend” so my phone buzzed. I’m so freaked out I literally threw the phone across the bed!


Back to the story at hand – Kaimi needed my help. I had to get scissors. I scrambled into the kitchen located the scissors and came screaming back into the room. I hid in the bathroom and cried some more.


Kaimi killed the beast. It was a medium sized guy – about 5 inches. He cut it and flushed it. Then cradled me while I sobbed in the bathroom. Full on tears. I think we were both kind of shocked at my reaction. I was terrified. Petrified. I didn’t want to approach our bed. I was shaking. I was so thankful that the thing had not been in Jackson’s bed. We actually found one on a trap beneath his bed about a month ago. The way he and I react to mosquito bites… We probably really shouldn’t get bitten by one of those. See… I can’t even write *that* word anymore.



A friend allowed me to use this photo of a centipede he found on Oahu. Photo: Kimo Villarimo


I didn’t take a picture. But I will forever picture it in my mind. This post is necessary and cathartic. I needed to be rid of that thing and the experience – as I need to be rid of these thoughts. I need to write them down so that they are no longer floating in my head tormenting me. I think this incident has ruined the calming influence of my doudou forever. And my neck is still itchy.


I couldn’t even turn the lights off or walk around. I accidently stepped on a weird piece of carpet and jumped through the roof. Then, I couldn’t turn the lights off.


My hubby just turned the lights off again. It’s replaying in my mind. Every breeze from the window and rush of air from him rearranging the sheets makes my skin crawl.  Something was literally crawling on my skin. In the place I should feel the safest, I now feel like I was violated. And my doggie is tainted. Can’t even touch the thing. He’s still in the middle of the floor – poor thing.




**A few days later, as I was telling someone this story, a bee stung me! Can’t catch a break! lol**






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6 Responses

  1. Anonymous says

    OMG, I loved this post!! I can relate to ALL of it. I lived for awhile in a hale off of omapio rd in kula during my divorce with my 2 young keiki. we called it “the buggy house”. It was temporary & a sad situation, but during that time, 1 got bit by a centipede & the other a scorpion! ALWAYS shake out your shoes before you put them on!! The 3 of us will never foget the horror, lol!

    • Malika says

      Oh no!!! I am definitely taking that tip about shaking out your shoes!!! Yikes!

  2. Blaine says

    I totally feel for you. I absolutely hate those things. One once crawled on me while I was sleeping and I did the exact same thing as you. Luckily for me it was a real small baby one, so it wasn’t as creepy as the one you had.

    Call me chicken, but I go heading for the hills when one appears in my house. I do the prudent thing and call the wife to handle the situation.

    • Malika says

      Blaine, I’m with you! Head for the hills!!

    • Kamila Dudley says

      C’est ça vivre à Hawaii: les centipèdes et les cafards! A Papaikou, on avait tout bouché mais on en avait quand même…. Quand j’ai téléphoné au “state” à propos de ça, ils m’ont demandé combien j’en voyais . Quand je leur ai répondu 3 ou 4 par années, ils
      m’ont répondu que cela n’était rien à côté des gens qui en voyait autant par semaine! Ma peur fut que vous soyez piqués mais heureusement aucun de vous ne l’a été! Par contre papa a été piqué 3 fois la même nuit (j’ai pensé que le sort faisait bien les choses, car c’était au moment de “sa crise” et j’avais eu une sorte de revenche!!!! Ah! Ah! Ah! Moi aussi je me suis fait piquer une fois, et je n’en suis pas morte….
      J’en avais parlé à docteur Oda, votre pédiatre et elle m’a tranquilisé en disant que ce n’était grave que seulement si on est allergique à leur venin…
      Habitue-toi, ce n’est pas le dernier que tu verras, c’est vrai, ils sont horribles à voir mais après tout c’est comme une piqure de guêpe. Kaimi a eu raison de te dire de prendre de la benadrine, en aie toujours à la maison au cas oû Poupounet se fait piquer. Pauvre Doggie, il n’y est pour rien, il t’a sauvé d’une certaine façon…. Et finalement il est temps que tu laisse de côté ton doudou
      Gros bisous

      • Malika says