Posted by: monsonmadness | October 18, 2011

Poisonous centipede in my daycare, beached whale, and a mouse in my house!

 What an interesting day. This morning in my superstars daycare class, I came across a disgusting poisonous centipede on the floor. My aide screamed and the cook came running. She was scared too and wouldn’t get close. For some reason, I not scared of centipedes at all, so this was no big deal to me, but they were shouting at me that it was poisonous and that I shouldn’t touch it. I scooped it up on a mat and took it outside where it was stood on and crushed.

It was called a Scolopendra subspinipes– the red-legged centipede. I had heard about them before but this was my first encounter.  We have lots of centipedes in our house, but they are black and smaller, and I think (???) that they are harmless. If  these red-legged guys bite you, they cause a LOT of pain, so there was no mercy involved. I didn’t take a photo of it, so stole this picture from another American Samoa blogger who found one in his house.  According to the internet, these centipedes can grow to over eight inches and live for ten years.  Yuck.

Next bit of excitement came later in the morning as I was driving a car full of kindergartners to a field trip to the library in Pago Pago. Lo and behold, we came across a beached whale! Can you believe it? I wound down the window and took this photo myself from the road. I guess you can’t really say it was beached because it wasn’t on the beach, but it was stuck on the coral and it STUNK.

Lastly, if you’re a facebook friend, you will know that we recently had mice in the house. Gross. Hannah saw the first one in the bathroom, but I didn’t believe her at first (this comes from a child who says she doesn’t sleep each night!) but the next day, I saw it for myself, and then we were full steam ahead on buying mouse traps and getting rid of it. Michael opted for the sticky trap option, but unfortunately, this doesn’t kill the mouse, it  just gets stuck there and can’t get away. I think you’re supposed to cut it’s head off with a shovel, or drown it in a bucket of water or something. Michael is about as far from being an animal killer as I am from choosing voluntarily to eat vegetables, so instead of putting it out of it’s misery quickly, he took the easy option and just threw it in the garbage! Poor mouse, bet it took a long time to suffocate/starve to death. Bet we sound really mean to some of you, but if you’ve ever lived with random creatures in your house, you may understand the desire to just get rid of them as easily as you can. We’re kind of thick skinned about it all now.

Wonder what creatures we’ll encounter next? Heard a few stories of sharks and dangerous stinging jellyfish. Maybe we’ll have an experience with them next!

All in a typical day living in American Samoa.



  1. We had some mice in our Kaysville house last year! Yuck! The funny thing is that later in the winter, my sister needed to borrow the traps we had for a mouse that had showed up in her house…Within a couple of hours I recieved a call from her that she only wanted to borrow the traps, not the dead mouse that had left in it!! I never even knew it was there! I laughed so hard The beached whale is sad but so interesting!

    • Gross, who took the traps over with the mice inside?

  2. I am so grossed out!!! I had to try to read without looking at those disgusting pictures!! Except the whale- that is kind of cool.

  3. You know the saying, Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Well if I thought Helen Monson was amazing before she moved away, I can only imagine the rock star she’ll be when she returns. Nothing will phase you!! Except, of course, vegetables.

  4. Of course, what a splendid blog and illuminating posts, I will bookmark your website.Best Regards!

  5. We had mice trouble in our duplex in Provo. They were clearing the land to build the new stake center so that winter we must have killed 6 mice. We used the spring traps as I don’t think I could do the stinky ones. I also made Jeff move them once they were sprung. I was not going to touch it — not even the trap!

  6. Yuck! I would freak out. I read this before going to bed and itched for over an hour.

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