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.