Common Household Centipede

The common household centipede, sometimes mistaken for a silverfish, thrives inside human homes. This insect has fifteen pairs of remarkably long legs, has huge spider like eyes, and has a small body length of only an inch. Originally native in the Mediterranean region, the house centipede has presently found its ways inside human houses all around the world. It is a remarkably fast and agile insect for its size reaching speeds up to a foot per second. How does a small insect like this get inside our homes? The answers lie on the natural behavior of the common house centipede itself.

House Centipedes are Insectivores – First reason why they get inside human houses is there natural feeding behavior. They are strict insectivores and will feed only on other insects such as arthropods and arachnids. There fondness in living inside houses can be explained in the fact that other insects, which they treat as food, like mites, small spiders, and termites, live and thrive inside human homes as well. The presence of this other insects is an irresistible feeling for house centipedes. They will never miss an opportunity for an easy snack.

They Like Cold Damp Places – In the wild, these centipedes can be found under rocks, rotting trees, and other cold damp places. They are naturally driven to lurk in these damp places because they need to maintain a certain level of temperature within their bodies. The temperature in damp places is also perfect for the growth and development of their eggs. Pipes, sewage drains, the bath room, and certain places in the garage make good replica of their usual cold damp hiding spots. This is another reason why house centipedes will not hesitate to live among us, inside our homes.

Less Natural Predators – The common house centipede has a long list of natural predators. At least that is the case in the wild. Inside our homes, the number of natural predators dwindles. There are no mantises, wasps, frogs, and other centipede eating creatures inside the perimeters of the house. The only real threat to them inside homes is us humans. They might not be scared though, because we dont literally prey on them and sometimes there elusive nature makes them hard to eradicate. With their speed and superior hunting skills, the house centipede is the king of small insects inside the house.

Lots of Places to Hide – This complements well to the previous reason that I just mentioned. In the wild things are very unforgiving. One false move for the house centipede and it easily becomes food by other animals. In the house though, things are much easier for the insect. There are lots of places to run and hide too and so many tight places for the house centipede to insert its thin body away from danger. With few, and maybe none, existing predators and a lot of mazes for the house centipede to retreat, the human house is the perfect sanctuary for the insect.

The house was ingeniously designed to keep us humans safe and comfortable. The same thing goes for the house centipede. Houses provide them with bottomless food supply, places to keep them and their eggs under the right temperature level, and there are few to none existing natural predators for them to fear. The house is just one big place for them to crawl around, reproduce, and have all the good time in their insect lives. Our homes are the house centipede’s idea of a perfect paradise. Now you know why there are house centipedes living amongst us in the four walls of our houses.


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Centipedes in the House

Many insects lurk inside the very four walls of our houses. Most of them are invisible to our sight appearing only as we sleep. The common house centipede is one of those insects that appear to have a sense of love crawling inside houses. Yes we do have centipedes in our homes but they are not the typical centipedes that we see in national geographic. They are very small and resemble more of a little spider than that of a common centipede. The small 1 inch long tiny creature is virtually harmless and not known to be aggressive on humans. Yet many people are not comfortable of the idea of having these house centipedes inside their homes. The surprising thing is house centipedes can benefit humans in some ways. Let us list the pros and cons of having centipedes inside the house.


Anti- insect pest/parasite - House centipedes are strictly insectivore. This means they feed solely on other insects existing inside our homes. The good thing about their natural feeding behavior is that they are effective predators against insects that we consider pests and parasites. House centipedes hunt mites, ticks, fleas, flies, small spiders, and other small insects thriving inside homes. They act as natural insecticides in way. The small insects that we consider pests and parasites are actually lunch for the house centipede. If you are open to the idea of letting Mother Nature solve your pest problems, then having house centipedes inside your house is a good thing.

Cleanliness Reminder – House centipedes do not naturally live inside human homes. They are lured by the presence of other insects living inside our houses that they consider easy prey. With this is mind, the presence of a house centipede tells us that there are a lot of insects, which pose serious damage to our lives, living with us inside our homes. It means we have a supply of ticks, mites, lice, and termites crawling in our space. The house centipede kind of reminds us that we need to keep our surrounding s clean all the time. If there is no house centipede in your house then it will generally tell you that there is also no other small insects living inside your house.


They are still insects – Even though house centipedes do us a little favor by chowing down on the other small insects present in our homes, their existence is just plain unacceptable to some of us. Besides, they are still insects and they have no business crawling inside our homes. They are better off in the wild where there existence is part of a complex food chain called the circle of life. In the civilized world of humans though, everything is very different from the wild. There are certain rules in which only humans and no other animals and insects can comprehend. One of those rules is that having insects, whatever they may be, inside our homes is just plain disgusting. Aside from an avid insect fan, who else would want a house centipede living with them? Yes they help in our insect problems but we can always solve things on our own.

Insects are disease carriers – Insects are known to be carriers of diseases. Although, there is no sure evidence that house centipedes are disease carriers, anything is still possible. House centipedes are known to thrive in damp places like sewage drains and pipes. These areas are the house version of a petri dish. Lots of bacteria thrive in these places and they may get transmitted to us through the house centipede. They can also possibly transmit the disease to us from preying on small cockroaches, carrying deadly strains of bacteria. Unlike rats and cockroaches House centipedes are not known in history to cause deadly plagues and diseases but at the end you will never know. Besides, the world of diseases is full of mystery and we can never be too sure. It’s always good to be safe than to be sorry.

They don’t have a role inside our house – Ok house centipedes feed on other insects but other than that what else can they offer us? It’s not like they are a source of entertainment. Many people are actually frightened with the sight of these tiny creatures. Just imagine yourself inviting important guests for dinner and they see a house centipede crawling in your table. That would truly be an embarrassing moment. Again, it is best that they be kept in the wild where the intricate rules of man do not apply. Besides, this is the 20th century and we have all the knowledge and tools to eradicate pests.

We have weighed the pros and cons of the house centipede living with as in our homes. Which side are you on? For most people though, they still would prefer not having a house centipede living with them. We always want our homes to be private because it is the only place in the world where we feel safe and comfortable with our family. Living with house centipedes just ruins the whole sense of it. In incase you experience a pest problem in your house just don’t resort in welcoming house centipedes yet. There is a thing called insecticides in the market.


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Household Centipede

The Household centipede is not the regular freakish monster like, Hollywood depicted, centipede that we generally see on television. Only about an inch long, its way to small compared to its famous large centipede cousin. It’s also not the typical multi-legged centipede that we know. You might be thinking of the usual elongated hundred legged crawling insect with huge formidable fangs. Well, all I can say is that the household centipede is quite unique for a centipede. Actually if you look at the insect, it looks more like a small spider at first glance. People even sometimes mistake it for a silverfish. The household centipede is far less intimidating than the centipede we imagine.

Aside from lacking the ferocious look, house centipedes are also less dangerous. There small poisonous fangs are only deadly to tiny insects the size of mites, small spiders, and flies. It’s far too weak of a poison to pose a serious threat to humans; far lesser than a bee sting.  They are also not aggressive insects.  Most people who have been bitten by a household centipede experienced the bite while they were sleeping on their beds. They must have rolled over the tiny insects and got bitten. Many of them did not feel any pain, in the actual moment of the bite. The sure thing is they will not really bite humans intentionally.

Household centipedes are also fast runners or fast crawlers to be exact.  They can reach surprising speeds of up to 0.4 meters per second (1.3 feet/second) running across floors, up walls and along ceilings. This can be considered an extra ordinary feat for such a tiny creature. With their remarkably long 15 pairs of legs, they can make quick flash movements in an instant. This characteristic makes them successful hunting small agile insects. This feature makes them elusive insects. It would be very frustrating trying to capture a live household centipede. They can disappear in a blink of an eye crawling fast towards the sewer drains. The speed makes them successful hunters but annoying “hard to get” insects as well.

Once in a while you might have seen this small spider like creature called the household centipede. The first thing you need to bear in mind is to first not panic because virtually the tiny little centipede is harmless. It will not aggressively bite humans and if ever circumstances permit that you get bitten by it (maybe you have rolled over it when you slept), it doesn’t pose anything dangerous to your body. The sting of a bee is even more painful and more lethal compared to the household centipede bite. Also they are fast moving insects, so don’t be annoyed when you find it hard to capture a live household centipede.


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