The House Centipede
What are house centipedes?
Centipedes differ from outdoor centipedes for the obvious reason that they are found indoors. In many parts of the country, they are very common pests. They are usually found in basements and other damp places such as bathrooms and closets. During warmer months, they can also frequent attics. Although centipedes generally measure approximately 1″-1 1/2″, they appear much longer due to their lengthy 15 pairs of legs. The bodies of centipedes are grayish yellow with 3 dark stripes extending down the length of the back.
Can you tell me a bit about their biology?
Centipedes develop through gradual metamorphosis, which is made up of three stages: the egg, nymph, and adult. During development, the young, or nymphs, resemble the full-grown insects in all ways including food preference, behavior and habitat, and physical resemblance.
What’s their behavior like?
Centipedes are nocturnal insects and therefore do all of their food foraging at night. They like to eat small insects as well as their larvae, and have a special affinity for the taste of spiders. In this way, they are beneficial because they control the population of other insects and spiders. However, for most people, this fact is of little comfort due to the centipede’s repulsive appearance.
What if one bites me?
Centipedes have the ability to bite, despite their weak jaws. The worst possible outcome of a bite is slight swelling. If skin puncturing does occur, treatment of the affected area with an antiseptic is sufficient.