Centipedes (House Centipedes) 

What to centipedes look like?

Centipedes are a strange-looking insect with lots and lots of legs.  They are usually yellowish brown and have a long, flat body that wiggles back and forth like a worm.  Contrary to popular belief, they do not always have 100 legs. In fact they can have anywhere from 15 to over 150 pairs of legs.

Do centipedes bite?

Surprisingly, yes.  Although it is somewhat uncommon, the bite of a large centipede can be a painful experience.  Centipedes have poison in their jaws, and if threatened they will bite leaving a red, irritated mark similar to a bee sting.


Centipedes are active at night and prefer moist areas such as piles of leaves, rotting logs or beneath rocks to name a few choice spaces.  Indoors, they are often found wherever there is excess moisture, such as crawlspaces, bathrooms or leaky basements.  They eat flies and spiders.  


Centipedes can be found worldwide.  Inside buildings, they prefer areas of high moisture.  Potted plants are a favorite hideout of the centipede, as well as bathroom areas, crawlspaces and leaky basements.


Though infrequent, centipedes do bite and can cause a painful reaction in humans.  Other than that, they are simply a nuisance and do not pose a structural or health threat.


The best way to keep your property free of centipedes is to remove harborage sites with excessive water, such as piles of leaves or rotting logs.  Seal entrances to any buildings, including crawl spaces.

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