What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Huge Bug Killed Mouse, what is it?
September 30, 2009
We found this when we were checking our mouse traps yesterday. As you will notice, it is about the same length of the mouse and its thorax (don’t no if I am using this correctly, but the width of its body not including the legs) was as wide as a pencil. The mouse trap is still set, but the mouse is dead, presumably at the hands of the creature seen next to it, therefore, it is possibly posionous as well. Can you help us figure out what this is, and is it dangerous. P.S. Our house has many small centipide looking things, at the absolute biggest they are 2 inches, but very narrow, could this just be a mutated version of those?
Person who lives in the basement with this thing

House Centipede eats Mouse

House Centipede eats Mouse

Dear Person who lives in the basement,
WE are enthralled with your image of a House Centipede with a mouse.  Though we have not heard of House Centipedes preying upon small mammals, your photo would indicate that this is a possibility.  House Centipedes do have venom, but they are not dangerous to humans.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

13 Responses to House Centipede eats Mouse

  1. kristi says:

    I have to admit that the house centipede gives me the creeps. It is the one insect that I allow my husband to kill in the house….others get the catch and release treatment. I beg to differ about the venom being harmless. I stepped on one by accident and it burned my bare foot! ICK!

    • bugman says:

      Dear kristi,
      Thank you for your frank email and your first hand experience. We should possibly modify our opinion of the House Centipede. We would still never kill one. They are magnificent predators who have no desire to bite humans, though desire might be too anthropomorphized a word to use on a House Centipede. Like many spiders that are considered harmless, not because they are without venom because all spiders are venomous, and not because they cannot bite humans, but because they very rarely bite humans. The bottom line on venom is that we personally believe that different people with different sensitivities (or possibly allergies) and that they may react differently to venom, including that of the House Centipede.

  2. jeanie says:

    I have several house centipedes living in our house. I consider them our first line of defense against insect pests…I never thought they might help against mice too! They never bother us. They just run across the floor from time to time and when we find one in the bathtub, we carefully catch them in a big glass and release outside. They are very fragile creatures… doesn’t take much to kill them.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for sending in your observations. As you indicate, House Centipedes are no match for humans who want to dispatch them.

  3. Jim says:

    I wanted to respond to this and make an important correction– House Centipedes are the primary predator for Roaches. If you have them, then you have roaches as well. Don’t kill a House Centipede– even though they are very creepy. let them do their job. When the roach population dies, they will move on.

    • bugman says:

      We have been informing our readers for years that House Centipedes will help to control the cockroach populations. Thanks for the affirmation.

    • Kevin says:

      I want to respond to Jim and make an important correction to his important correction. While it’s true that house centipedes will prey on roaches, the existence of house centipedes in your property does NOT infer that you also have roaches. There are no roaches in the area of Michigan where I live. However, there is a substantial house centipede population.

      • bugman says:

        We concur. We have a healthy population of House Centipedes at the What’s That Bug? office, however, we do not have cockroaches. We wish House Centipedes fed on those pesky Argentine Ants.

  4. kirit says:

    damn these guys give me the creeps. i saw a huge 1 … little bit bigger thanmy palm attack, kill and take away a roach. gave me the chills…. very scary stuff

  5. Laura says:


    This could explain why the mouse population in our house seems to be on the decline, even though I have not set any traps yet…..

    And also could explain why we have house centipedes the size of mice.

    Very creepy.

    • bugman says:

      We don’t know how common this type of predation would be, but the image illustrates that it is a possibility with large House Centipedes.

  6. Jimmy deedub says:

    We have a similar type of centipede here in new Zealand. Apparently they’re the biggest type in the world they grow up to 300mm long and very regularly in the house hunting mice they’re called soil dweller centipedes but love living indoors when there’s plenty of things to eat, first one i ever saw i thought we were being invaded by aliens haha, beautiful cridders and may be a little dangerous just don’t try handle one with bare hands

  7. Karen Ries says:

    We’re in NE Iowa. Have been seeing these for the last 6 months. Never had a clue what they were. I’ve caught them and put them outside. This is the first winter we’ve not had any mice! So interesting! The wooly critter I saw the other day looked about 2″ long.

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