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House Centipede


Actual Size: Approximately 1.5″

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

Legs: Up to 30

Antennae: No

Wings: No

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


  • 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 Salina

House centipedes have fifteen pairs of very long, slender legs. They also have a pair of poison claws located behind their head and use them to poison and paralyze their prey, usually small insects.  As terrifying as they look, they are beneficial for assisting homeowners in keeping pests like cockroaches and spiders under control.

House Centipede Habitat

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 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

The 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 on your property, contact your local exterminators.

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