You may like to think of your home as a kind of sanctuary, a place for you to kick off your shoes, relax, and gain some respite from the troubles outside. That domestic bliss can be instantly shattered by the sight of one of nature’s more hideous creatures, the house centipede. The three-dozen long legs and super-long antennae make the centipede look much larger than it really is. So when one of them suddenly darts out from a dark hiding place, most people instantly freak out and try to squash the little monster.
Far from trying to kill a house centipede, you should actually be glad it’s there. Centipedes eat other bugs: flies, roaches, silverfish, moths, spiders, and house-destroying termites, among others. That centipede you’re thinking about squashing is doing you a favor, saving you the cost of bug spray or a professional exterminator and sparing you exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals.
Psychologically, centipedes horrify us but physically they’re quite harmless. They don’t want a confrontation: if they see you, they’ll run away as fast as they can (which is surprisingly fast). Centipedes do have a venomous bite but it’s only a threat to the bugs they eat. Even if a centipede managed to bite through your skin (and usually they aren’t capable of that) it would be no worse than a bee sting.
But if you really can’t stand the sight of house centipedes, there are some things you can do to keep them away. Centipedes like dark, damp places, so seal any cracks and keep basements and garages as dry as possible. If you think you might have a large infestation of centipedes — beyond what’s helpful for controlling other creepy crawlies — put down some sticky traps. Depending on what you catch, you may want to consult with a professional exterminator. But don’t be too hasty: remember that in general centipedes are your friends.
Are you going to let centipedes roam freely or is that just not something you can deal with? Let us know in the Facebook comments and be sure to like and share!