House Centipedes

The House Centipede body is 1 to 1-1/2 inch long, but its legs make it appear to seem much larger. The body is grayish-yellow with 3 dark stripes extending along the full length of the back. The legs are long in proportion to the body size, and they have alternate light and dark bands running around them.

Unlike most other centipedes, this species generally lives its entire life inside a building. It will prefer to live in damp areas such as cellars, closets, bathrooms, attics (during the warm months) and unexcavated areas under the house. The house centipede forages at night for small insects and their larvae, and for spiders. From a control tool point of view, they can be beneficial in controlling other insects.

They develop by gradual metamorphosis, so immature have a similar appearance to adults but are smaller. Eggs are laid in the damp places that they live in, as well as behind baseboards or beneath bark on firewood. All life stages can be observed running rapidly across floors or accidentally trapped in bathtubs, sinks, and lavatories.

Although this centipede can bite, its jaws are quite weak. There usually is not more than a slight swelling if a bite occurs.

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