House Centipede


Actual Size: 2″-4″

Characteristics: Also known as “Hundred-leggers”, these insects have long legs that give them a “furry” appearance. They are predaceous and beneficial.


  • House centipedes prefer high moisture areas like mulch beds, damp basements, and behind walls in washrooms.
  • Centipedes feed on spiders and flies.
  • Their bite cannot break human skin.

House Centipede

It’s easy to see why so many people are fearful of house centipedes. With what appears to be hundreds of long thin legs, the house centipede looks like something straight out of a nightmare. Even worse, they crawl at high speeds, making them even more terrifying. Thankfully, house centipedes are relatively harmless. Although two of their front legs contain venom, it is used almost entirely for stinging their prey, including silverfish and termites.

Behaviors of House Centipedes

For the most part, house centipedes are nighttime hunters. Despite having developed eyes, they primarily use their long and highly sensitive antenna, which can pick up smells and vibrations, for hunting purposes. These insects prefer warm or tropical environments and often are found in homes when they are seeking shelter from colder temperatures. Although they have the ability to bite, they would much rather reserve their venom for their prey. In the case someone is bitten, a small reddish bump may form with little to no other symptoms.

Preventing & Controlling House Centipedes

For the most part, house centipedes prefer to be outdoors where they have plenty of prey to hunt. Occasionally they may make it inside your home through tiny cracks or holes, where they will seek out damp, dark areas such as the basement to hide. To prevent them from getting inside, it’s important to install screens on doors and windows and to seal any cracks or holes in the foundation of your property.