My Littley is not a lover of insects. More of a loather in fact. Despite his ever-increasing height, he stubbornly refuses to accept that they are a damn sight more scared of him. I have lost count of the times I have had to remove a *killer* moth or spider from his room, so when he phoned me at work to tell me he had abandoned our flat, along with daft dog, because it had been invaded by a *giant* centipede, I must confess I laughed.
And continued to do so all the way home, teasing him mercilessly, despite his protestations that it was a creature of man-eating proportions! As we entered the house, he and daft dog took up positions behind me, and he pointed to a spot worryingly close to my bedroom door. My laughter died in my throat. I am normally unphased by insects of any sort, likewise snakes, bats or rats. With the sole exception of cockroaches, which reduce me to a quivering wreck!! But I was stunned into silence by the vision in front of me.
At least eight inches long, and a girth the size of a small cucumber, a virulent shade of orange striped with black, this really was the largest centipede I had ever encountered. A giant set of pincers adorned its rear end, and a fearsome set of mandibles its front!!
“Told you!!” said Littley, as he and obviously totally useless guard dog edged away from me! My normal tools of glass and card were obviously sadly lacking in the capture of this beast, and I had no intention of getting any closer to it than absolutely necessary. So I resorted to the time-honoured practise of insect ridding, the vacuum cleaner!! Attaching the longest hose I had, I aimed it at the beast, and sucked it up!! It hit the bag inside with a loud thud, and dog and boy both let out a sigh of relief!! My mind raced on, however, as I envisaged it crawling back up the pipe to wreak revenge. So I grabbed a refuse sack, and deposited the Hoover in its entirety inside. Tied the top of the bag tightly and put the whole thing outside!! As far away from the front door as possible! To be thrown away the next day!!
Suspect I may be exaggerating slightly? Then behold!! I searched it on the internet. Turns out it is poisonous. Deep joy!! I just wonder how long it had been lurking in my bedroom!! I have insect screens now!!
P.S. Gibraltar is also home to the largest bird eating spider in Europe! Don’t tell Littley!! He will never sleep again!!