Currently viewing the category: "Centipedes and Millipedes"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Identify my bug please; terrifying my children and guests
Location: New Bedford, Massachusetts
September 3, 2016 8:57 pm
Dear Bugman,
I first encountered this bug when I was 6 years old happily coloring on my floor and this monstrous thing ran across my coloring book and I never touched it again. Now I live in an apartment and they’ve shown up frequently these past couple days. One gave me a heart attack in my bedroom, another ran across the kitchen counter sending my child running and screaming, and a recent one I was able to get a picture of was about 30 minutes ago in my bathroom. It is September; almost fall here in Massachusetts and about 70 degrees outside. The weather has been cooling down with a lot of rain and humidity this weekend. These bugs run super fast. They usually hang out in the dark; I’m assuming as whenever a light flickers in they run for cover elsewhere never to be seen again. They have a Buber of legs and vary from very tiny to about 4 inches long. Some are a light brown while others have a striped pattern. I’m getting shivers describing this; these are my worst bug fear. Please please PLEASE help me identify these guys; I would really appreciate. Thank you,
Signature: Terrified Mother and Cade

House Centipede

House Centipede

Dear Terrified Mother and Cade,
This is a House Centipede, and we generally refer to them as harmless, though we concede that a large individual might bite a human, but those incidents seem to be very rare.  House Centipedes are nocturnal predators that will feast upon Cockroaches and other undesirable insects and arthropods.  They are quite startling when they run quickly across the room.  We hope you realize that they will run and hide from you, and they are not interested in attacking you, and the chances of getting bitten are greatly reduced if you don’t try to catch and hold them, which we doubt you will ever attempt.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: RE: centipede in stool??
Location: Houston, TX
September 1, 2016 8:10 am
Hi, I am hoping that you can give me some insight into this matter. My husband has had diarrhea for about a week now. He went to the doctor, and we are waiting for results from his stool sample. This morning, he had an accident in his pants, and we found this worm that doesn’t resemble any of the more common intestinal parasites. I searched the internet, and found a post from Feb. 2013 titled “Can Centipedes really crawl up your butt??” The culprit resembles the picture in the post, so I am wondering what the final findings were. Thanks.
Signature: concerned wife

Centipede found in husband's messy underwear

Centipede found in husband’s messy pants.

Dear concerned wife,
We invested much research into the posting you cited:  Can Centipedes really crawl up your butt??  What we find troubling about your submission is that your Centipede does not look like a Soil Centipede, the group that was the subject of all our research as well as other strange reports we have received including Soil Centipede presumably passed during bowel movement and Soil Centipede found in Bath WaterBugGuide also has a submission of a Soil Centipede found in a human stool sample.  Soil Centipedes are described on BugGuide as being:  “Slender, rather sluggish eyeless centipedes that have 27 to 191 pairs (the number of leg pairs is always odd) of legs and 14-segmented antennae. They burrow in the substrate in a manner similar to earthworms, by elongating and contracting their bodies.”  If our calculations are correct, your Centipede has fewer than 21 pairs of legs, so it is NOT a Soil Centipede.  Additionally, your Centipede does not appear like it has been in a human gastrointestinal tract.  Your Centipede appears like it might be in the genus
Cryptops, based on this imaged of Crytops hortensis which is posted to BugGuide and appears to have the same number of legs as your individual.  We also have a posting on our site of a Tiger Centipede found in a young lady’s panties, and it was definitely NOT a parasite.  We suspect it just sought out a warm dark place, which is what we are inclined to believe regarding the Centipede you found.  We would urge you to keep the specimen and take it to the doctor conducting the stool sample, but again, we are inclined to believe the two instances are a coincidence and that your husband’s diarrhea is not related to the discovery of the Centipede in his dirtied pants.  Please keep us posted if there are additional developments or questions.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a Sawfly larva?
Location: South Surrey, BC, Canada
July 24, 2016 12:18 pm
Hi Bugman,
I came upon several of these in my garden in South Surrey, BC, Canada in June, 2016. South Surrey is south of Vancouver, BC, near White Rock, just north of the USA border (WA State) — just in case your readers aren’t familiar with the local geography.
I had no idea what they are, but I think they look like your photo of a Sawfly larva. Are they harmful to plants or beneficial insects?
Thanks for your help.
Signature: Jerry Steinberg

Millipedes

Flatbacked Millipedes

Dear Jerry,
These are NOT Sawfly larvae.  They are Flatbacked Millipedes,
Harpaphe haydeniana, and according to BugGuide:  “This particular millipede secretes a dark fluid that has an odor similar to the almond extract used in cooking. Apparently this is a defensive manuveur. Millipedes also curl up in tight coils when threatened.  Caution: Many millipedes with bright color patterns secrete a compound containing cyanide. Wash your hands after handling them and do not allow children to pick them up.”  According to Island Nature:  “the millipede can perform its duty as a ‘macroshredder,’ breaking up plant material and initiating the process of nutrient recyclying [sic] in the soil ecosystem … . In fact, it plays such an important role in the process that it can be considered to be a “keystone” species.”

Thanks so much!
Keep up the GREAT work!
Jerry

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Can you help me identify this bug?
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
June 22, 2016 5:36 am
I find so many of these around and in my house during the summer months. They’re maybe an inch and half long and dark brown with many legs. They have to antennae sticking out from the front (at least that’s what I think they are). I don’t know how they keep getting in or what I can do to keep them out.
Signature: Sam

Greenhouse Millipede

Greenhouse Millipede

Dear Sam,
Your image is not of the highest quality, but this appears to be a Greenhouse Millipede,
Oxidus gracilis, based on this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Native to Asia, introduced to North America and found throughout the lower 48 states and southern Canada.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: Southern Ohio
June 18, 2016 4:02 pm
Found this creature in the woods, curled up in a ball. (Was around 1:30 in June).
Signature: Fallistar

Flatbacked Millipede

Flatbacked Millipede

Dear Fallistar,
We identified your colorful Flatbacked Millipede as
 Apheloria virginiensis corrugata on BugGuide where it states:  “Caution: Many millipedes with bright color patterns secrete a compound containing cyanide. Wash your hands after handling them and do not allow children to pick them up. ‘Millipedes are entirely non-toxic to humans and can be picked up by hand. Some secretions discolor the skin, but this wears away in a few days without lasting effect. Some large, cylindrical, tropical species squirt their defensive secretions up to a half meter (2-3 feet) and can blind chickens and dogs. Their fluids are painful if they get into the eyes, and persons working with tropical millipedes should be suitably cautious.’ ~Rowland Shelley”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of bug is this
Location: Nebraska
June 4, 2016 5:24 pm
Found this in my apartment. Do you know what this is?
Signature: Missydo

House Centipede Carnage

House Centipede Carnage

Dear Missydo,
This poor creature was so severely traumatized when it was dispatched that it is almost unrecognizable, but the large number of long legs indicates it is NOT an insect.  We suspect this must be a House Centipede, and they are much more beautiful alive than they are dead.
  House Centipedes are not dangerous to humans and they are nocturnal predators that will help rid the home of Cockroaches and other unwanted creatures.  We will be postdating this submission to go live during our holiday away from the office next week.  We will also be tagging this submission as Unnecessary Carnage, and we hope the next time you encounter a House Centipede, you will be Missydon’t.

It was in my laundry and when I took the laundry out of the washer it fell out. Didn’t even know it was in there.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination