What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Striped, Gangly, 30-legged bug!
November 6, 2009
My friend Brandon sent me the photo along with this message: “I was pouring myself a soda next to the kitchen sink, when I turned around and spotted this on the wall. Not what you want to see behind you after you turn the lights on.”
Its body is about 3cm long, and including the legs it’s about 10cm long. I became very curious after seeing the photo, I just had to submit it!
Laura L. W., Roseville, CA
Lake of the Pines, Auburn, CA

House Centipede

House Centipede

Hi Laura,
What Brandon has labeled the Bug of Doom is a harmless, beneficial House Centipede.  This nocturnal predator is not known to bite people, will run away when the lights are snapped on, and will eat cockroaches and other undesirable household intruders if left alone to forage.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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24 Responses to House Centipede

  1. Larry Hockley says:

    Besides being “YUCK” and fast…….I think our cat chases them down overnight…if we don’t find a full body, there are definiately legs around in the morning. My question is, if the cat decides to eat them, will it make them sick??

    • bugman says:

      In our experience, a cat eating a House Centipede will not have any negative ramifications for the feline.

      • Robert Lemke says:

        Cats are very good at eating the nite crawling bugs while you sleep. No, spiders do not crawl in your mouth left open while sleeping. It’s just a old wives tale.

  2. Kirsten says:

    How can I get rid of them?

  3. Susan says:

    I just stomped on one of these during my freak out from spotting it, didn’t know what it was! Can’t stand bugs >_>

  4. Ashley says:

    One of these came out of my shoe this morning….Frea-ky! : ( So I stomped it, lol.

  5. Denise says:

    I feel bad now that I saw one of these coming out of the sink when I was half asleep on a bathroom run. I bleached it to death because our creeped me out so bad…they are very CREEPY in the middle of the night

    • bugman says:

      Not only will House Centipedes prey upon Cockroaches, they will also prey upon one another, so while populations of Cockroaches tend to just increase, populations of House Centipedes are controlled through cannibalism.

  6. cody says:

    Are the venumness

  7. Margaret says:

    Do they eat spiders?

  8. Breanna says:

    Just now, one was crawling on me while I was in bed and I freaked out and started rolling around and I raced out of bed. I think that it bit me though in the scuffle. I can’t see it, but the area where I think it bit me, hurts. Am I in any danger? (The little f#$@%r is still alive. It got away, but now without losing about 10 legs.)

  9. Daisy Lynn says:

    Wow! Thank you! I’ve been all creeped out after seeing one of these in my house, now I know even tho it looks creepy, it eats the even creepier spiders…I’m set. Thanks for the info.

  10. Twon says:

    The other day I saw this little night crawler in my garage. I freaked out because it was the first time that I saw this kind of centipede. From then on, I vowed on haunting this little night crawler. So last night, i was able to kill one; right by the laundry machine. Just awhile ago, I saw that it has babies. Then when I opened the door in my garage, I saw another big one. I have been reading that house centipede is beneficial because it preys on spiders, roaches etc. However, it if does prey on spiders, then why is it that I still see alot of small spiders in my garage??? I just dont see this night crawler beneficial at all. But a Pests. It creeps the sh*t out of me everytime I see one. All I can think of is kill.

  11. Stan says:

    Okay, one thing they’re not is benefice. Those arthropods are extremely toxic, they don’t bite and it’s true, but a word of advice: remember that ANY animal having stripes is dangerous. It is mother nature’s way of saying “Keep away from me”. So I wouldn’t recommend anyone handling one without protective wear. Plus, all arthropods like to “explore”, i.e. crawl into place you’d least expect them to pop out of. Therefore disregarding them isn’t recommended either. If you find a spider or a centipede indoors, chances are those would we wandering animals, and besides killing them, the best way to dispose of them would be to catch them with a glass and let them go outside. At least that’s what I’ve been doing with all of them for quite some time and had no problem with them pestering me in the future.

  12. Warren Benson says:

    I had a few of these show up in my apartment. Good to know that they aren’t lethal. They sure are fast and freaky looking. Good to know that they eat insects and spiders. There are a lot of bugs in my apartment. I live in Price, UT. I never had seen these in St. George, UT where I moved from.

  13. tim says:

    just found a large one in the house for the first time. does this mean I should expect more? a brood?

  14. Twon says:

    Yes. It usually comes in two to breed. Rememberto creep in slow to kill because it moves to damn fast. Use a long stick or if you use a hot shots insect killer, be sure to aim well and dont stop squeezing until you soak the fu*ker.

  15. Tyler says:

    Just saw a house centipede kill a spider it was an epic battle:)

  16. Paul Lorenc says:

    Worst thing in the world to live in a basement apartment. House centipedes thrive there. Just guess where my wife and I happen to live? Lol. I understand they are beneficial. I just wish they didn’t come on my bed, my couch, my kitchen counter, etc. They can stay on the floor. Plenty for them to eat down there!

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