House Centipede

Category:

Actual Size: 1.5”

Characteristics: Grayish-yellow; three dark stripes on top of body.

Legs: Up to 30

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Some have wings, but they rarely fly.

Habitat: Drawn to areas with moisture; outside, they are found beneath leaves and stones. Inside, they are often in crawl spaces, bathrooms, etc.

Habits:

  • Possess fifteen pairs of long, slender legs.
  • When disturbed, will move quickly to darkened hiding places.
  • Attracted to moisture and found in bathrooms and damp closets.

House Centipedes in Puerto Rico

House centipedes are found throughout the United States and have an abundance of legs, fifteen pairs of very long, slender legs to be exact. As terrifying as they look, house centipedes are beneficial invertebrates, assisting homeowners in keeping pests like cockroaches and spiders under control. Though house centipedes are found both indoors and outdoors, accidentally finding one trapped in the sink or bathtub, can be frightening. When outdoors, house centipedes are not considered harmful, but they may be considered pests when they share living spaces with us.

House Centipede Habitat

House centipedes are attracted to moisture and can be found outside under stones, boards, or sticks or beneath moist leaf litter and other organic matter. When found in homes, house centipedes most often occur in moist cellars, damp closets, and bathrooms, where they feed on insects and spiders. When disturbed, centipedes move quickly toward darkened hiding places. If house centipedes are abundant, there may be an underlying moisture problem in the home that should be corrected.

House Centipede Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

House centipedes have a pair of poison claws located behind their head and use them to  poison and paralyze their prey, usually small insects. The weak jaws of the house centipede can penetrate the skin, but with difficulty. Bites can result in swelling and pain, but usually are no worse than a bee sting. House centipedes are considered nuisance pests and when they come into your yard, it is often because they are looking for food. If centipedes find food near your exterior walls, and there are open cracks or crevices, they can accidentally get inside your home.

If you are dealing with house centipedes in your San Juan property, contact your local exterminators.