same-day serviceCentipedes

HOUSE CENTIPEDES
Scutigera coleoptrata

centipedesFound throughout U.S., centipedes are 1/8 – 6”, yellowish to dark brown, sometimes with darker stripes or markings. Centipedes can have anywhere from 15-177 pairs of legs, depending on the species.

They are typically found in areas of high moisture, such as in rotting logs, under stones, in trash or piles of leaves/grass. When they invade homes, centipedes are most commonly found in damp basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms, or potted plants.

Most centipedes are nocturnal, and prey primarily on flies, spiders, and sometimes plant tissue. During the daytime, the centipedes inhabit dark, damp locations in the home and come out at night to forage for prey. If house centipedes are seen frequently, this indicates that some prey arthropod is in abundance, and may signify a greater problem then the presence of the centipedes.

It does not survive winters outdoors, but readily reproduces in heated structures. Females have been known to survive for several years and produce numerous offspring (maximum of 150).

All centipedes have poison jaws with which they inject venom into their prey. If handled roughly, some larger species can inflict a painful bite that can break human skin and causes pain and swelling, similar to a bee sting.

This page is intended as a quick reference. Pest experts should be contacted for case-by-case evaluation if you believe that you have a pest problem that requires professional assistance.

Some information found in this overview has been compiled from household pest information sheets published by the Ohio State University Extension Office: HYG-2099-97, and by the Penn State University Extension Office. This information is included on this web site strictly to help in the identification of various pests, and no profit is directly derived there from.

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