Photo ©University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County
Centipedes have pair of poison claws behind the head and use the poison to paralyze their prey, usually small insects. However, the jaws of centipedes are weak and can rarely penetrate human skin. The rare individuals who are bitten may experience localized swelling and pain no worse than a bee sting. The house centipede is found throughout the United States. This centipede can be found outside under stones, boards, or sticks or beneath moist leaf litter and other organic matter. When disturbed, centipedes move swiftly toward darkened hiding places. When they are found in homes, they are often found in moist basements, damp closets and in bathrooms.
Centipedes require moist habitats. If they are plentiful, there may be an underlying moisture problem that should be corrected. Usually, the best thing is an exterminator.
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