The House Centipede

b2ap3_thumbnail_bigstock-House-centipide-Scutigera-col-51741409.jpgAttn: Not for the squeamish. Known for its many legs, horrifying physique, and ability to move faster than you, the house centipede is certainly a force to be reckoned with.

The nocturnal hunter is drawn to damp places with lots of other insects. Chances are you’ve seen one crawling up the walls of your basement (finished or un-) or around the drain of your shower. If you’ve never seen one – be thankful; they are terrible to behold, causing even the most dauntless homeowner to step back, shudder, and reconsider their current living situation.

First and foremost, the house centipede is a fierce predator, consuming prey after prey. In its little insect world, it runs with its body off the ground, rears back, and then attacks its victim with remarkable vigor. The house centipede eats all kinds of bugs including spiders, stinkbugs, cockroaches, as well as termites, silverfish, and bed bugs. They aren’t too kind to mosquitoes either. Unfortunately, the house centipede also devours pretty things like moths and butterflies.

A house centipede will eat just about anything, but not to worry, it won’t eat you. It looks like it will, but it won’t. And thankfully, the house centipede is not dangerous. It can occasionally induce an allergic reaction, but for the most part, its bite feels like a bee sting.

As creepy as they may be, house centipedes have some redeeming qualities. They groom themselves well, making sure to pay special attention to the cleanliness of their legs. Comparably, they also move very fast. If a centipede were human, it could run at least 40 mph, which is 17 miles faster than Usain Bolt.

The Japanese have come to appreciate house centipedes so much that they often seek them out as a pest control solution, inviting them into their home without much consternation.

What's the bottom line? Well, if you have a lot of house centipedes, there is probably a deeper issue. You may have a moisture problem, or a pest infestation (besides the centipedes). If you want to get rid of the centipedes, you must first get rid of their dinner.

While your first instinct may be to grab a shoe and squash the spindly-legged spider eater, be wary. Doing so could make the situation even worse, killing the one insect that is eating all the others. One or two centipedes every now and then are fine, but if your paths are constantly crossing, it may be time to consider calling Gibson Pest.

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