The Scutigera coleoptrata more commonly referred to as the house centipede is a small, yellow centipede that can be found inside homes. This centipede can be found in houses around the world and can be very common but unpleasant visitor. They tend to live on the ground floor of homes and are more frequently seen in warmer areas. They are nocturnal, so they’re more likely to be seen at night than during the day.
House centipedes do have venom, which they use to kill their prey. However, they do not bite often and, when they do, their bite is not strong enough to break human skin or to cause more than a mild reaction.
What Are House Centipedes?
House centipedes are smaller centipedes that are commonly found on the inside of homes. They tend to live in warmer, more humid climates and prefer to hunt during the night. These insects do not have nests or webs, and they stay on the move to hunt for other insects they can eat. They do have many legs, which enables them to hunt other insects that could be dangerous to them. They will bite their prey, then move away quickly and wait for their venom to kill the prey before they eat it. These centipedes can live a long time compared to most insects, with some living as long as 5 to 6 years. They do have venom that they use on their prey, but the venom is not sufficient to cause issues for most people if they do bite.
Can House Centipedes Bite?
Technically, a house centipede can bite. However, they are so small that the bite is not likely to break through a person’s skin. House centipedes typically do not try to bite humans because they don’t see humans as a food source. Instead, they’ll only bite if they are afraid. Most bites occur because the person was handling the centipede. As long as you don’t touch it, the centipede is not likely to attack you or try to bite you. They’ll simply run away and look for food they can eat.
Are House Centipedes Venomous?
House centipedes do have venom. This venom is injected when they bite as a way to subdue their prey so they can eat it. House centipedes will use the venom to attack other insects they want to eat, even if the insect is larger than them or it is dangerous to them, as the venom can kill the insect they bite, so they’re able to eat it. The amount of venom used when a centipede bites is tiny, so it’s not likely to impact a human very much. The biggest worry with a bite, instead, is the pain of the bite, which will go away quickly. Some people, however, are allergic to the venom used by the centipede, so they should take care to avoid the centipedes and have them removed from the home if they’re seen.
What Happens if a House Centipede Bites Someone?
When a house centipede bites someone, they may experience localized pain and redness. The bite is similar to a sting from a bee, though many people report it is not as painful as a bee sting. Both the pain and the redness will disappear with time. Though there is venom, most of the time the person will not have any further issues from it. Anyone who is bitten by a centipede should clean the area thoroughly and watch to make sure there are no further issues due to allergies or an infection. If allergy symptoms are noticed or the bite becomes infected, the person should seek medical attention immediately.
Can House Centipedes Cause Damage to a Home?
No. The house centipedes are not going to damage your home like other pests might. They do not nest, which means they won’t build any nest inside your home or damage parts of your home to create the nest. They do not create webs like spiders or infest an area like many types of insects will. Since they feed on other insects, they aren’t going to damage the wood in your home like termites might. They simply find dark corners to live in when they’re not hunting for food.
What Does the Appearance of House Centipedes Mean?
House centipedes are hunters and are always looking for more food. They prefer warmer places that are wet and humid, as this keeps them closer to their food sources. If you have house centipedes, it typically means you have food for the centipedes in your home. They feed on many different insects, like bed bugs, roaches, silverfish, and wasps. If you see the centipedes in your home, you also have one or more of these types of insects in your home, and the centipede takes up residence in your home to have a plentiful source of food.
Where Do House Centipedes Come From?
House centipedes originated in the Mediterranean but have spread to be just about anywhere that is warm and humid. They tend to find their way into homes through small cracks that could let other insects in as well and will stay in a home as long as they have a food source. They enter homes to look for other types of insects that can typically be found in homes. If you have noticed house centipedes in your home, it means there is a way for other insects to get inside your home and it means there are other insects that the centipede wants to eat inside your home.
Should You Kill House Centipedes in Your Home?
The reason house centipedes are in your home is that they’re looking for food, which happens to be other insects you don’t want inside your home. While a centipede running across the floor at night can be shocking to see, they are actually beneficial to have in your home if you have other pests. They’re working on killing the other pests in your home, even if you hadn’t realized they were there. If you do see house centipedes in your home, while you may want them in your home, they aren’t going to be harmful to you, they won’t damage your home, and they won’t really cause any issues for you, so you may not want to kill them. Instead, eliminate the other pests inside your home. Once you do this, the house centipedes will move out and will go somewhere else to find their food.
What Can be Done to Prevent House Centipedes?
House centipedes are going to enter your home to look for food. If you do not have any other insects in your home, they will not stay there for long. To keep house centipedes from entering your home, make sure your home is free from all pests. Standard prevention applies here as it can help you keep all insects and centipedes from getting inside. Make sure your home is sealed, so there are no cracks to let insects in. Keep food and drinks put away and clean up any spills as they occur, so there is no food for other insects. As long as you do not have insects inside your home, the house centipedes will not be in your home.
What Can be Done to Remove House Centipedes?
If you do notice house centipedes inside your home, start by finding out what their food source is. They’re looking for other insects to eat, so if the house centipede is in your home it is a sign there are other insects. Eliminate the other insects in your home and the house centipede will leave to find a new food source. Other insects can include just about any insects that can get inside your home, whether or not you can see them.
It’s typically a good idea to call a pest control professional if you have noticed house centipedes in your home. The professional can determine what insects are in your home and help you eliminate them as quickly as possible. The methods used will vary depending on exactly what types of insects are in your home and the extent of the infestation. They can also discuss prevention with you to keep the insects from getting back inside your home and to make sure the centipedes will not want to go in your home again.
House centipedes can look scary, but they’re not harmful and are not likely to bite humans. If you do see house centipedes inside your home, do not kill them. Instead, work with a pest control professional to learn more about what the centipedes are feeding on inside your home and to get help eliminating other pests in your home. The centipede is going to help with insect control in your home and, when there is no more food for them in your home, they’ll simply move on to somewhere else to find the food they need. If you’ve seen one in your home, contact a pest control professional now to get help.