Pest Library

    

Centipede

The house centipede is grayish-yellow with 3 dark, long stripes down the back with the legs encircled with alternating dark and white bands. The actual body length is an inch or slightly longer (wormlike), surrounded with 15 pairs of very long legs making the creature appear much larger. The last pair of legs is more than twice the body length of the female. A pair of very long slender antennae extends forward from the head. They mate and breed in dark cracks and crevices. Eggs hatch into larvae which have 4 pairs of legs. There may be 5 or more larval stages with the number of legs increasing with each molt. Following larval growth are 4 adolescent stages, each with 15 pairs of legs. Centipedes prey on insects, spiders and other small animals, being considered beneficial to humans.

The house centipede, unlike most other centipedes that normally live outdoors, can live indoors especially in damp, moist basements, cellars, bathrooms, crawlspaces or unexcavated areas under the house. They are sometimes seen running rapidly across the floor with great speed, stopping suddenly to remain motionless and then resuming fast movements. They are considered harmless to humans.