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Centipede

Danger/Damage

Centipedes are typically harmless to humans, but they do have a poisonous bite and can inject venom to kill their prey. If they bite humans, their bite can cause some localized pain and swelling.


Did you know?

Centipedes are yellowish to dark brown; house centipedes are greyish-yellow with three stripes down the back and long legs banded with white. Centipedes are typically harmless to people but have a poisonous bite that can irritate them.


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Centipedes are yellowish to dark brown; house centipedes are greyish-yellow with three stripes down the back and long legs banded with white.

They range from 0.4 to 15 cm (1/8 to 6 inches) long. The flattened body has 15 to 177 body segments with one pair of legs each.


Centipedes are found outdoors around moisture and decaying organic matter such as under trash, grass clippings, mulch, and rotting firewood.

However, they can invade properties and find damp conditions to live in, especially during the winter.

Some centipede species invade homes, but people rarely see them during the day. They typically hide in damp areas around the house, such as bathrooms, basements, and closets. Centipedes are most active at night when they forage for food.


Centipede reproduction does not involve copulation. Male centipedes will weave a capsule of sperm called a spermatophore for the female centipede to take in.

Sometimes, the spermatophore is weaved into a web where the male performs a courtship dance to encourage the female to take their sperm.

Other times, the males leave them for the females to find. Centipedes can live between a year to six years.


  1. Centipedes always have an odd-numbered pair of legs,
  2. The name centipede is misleading as it can have more or less than 100 legs.
  3. House centipedes feed on many types of household pests, including spiders, flies, cockroaches, and silverfish.
  4. Most centipedes have poor eyesight, so they detect prey through their antennae. Some centipedes don't even have eyes.

How do l recognize a centipede?

Centipedes are yellowish to dark brown; house centipedes are greyish-yellow with three stripes down the back and long legs banded with white. They range from 0.3 to 15 cm long. The flattened body has 15 to 177 body segments with one pair of legs each.

Are centipedes dangerous to humans?

Centipedes are typically harmless to humans, but they have a poisonous bite that can cause mild irritation if handled carelessly.

Where do you find centipedes?

Centipedes are found outdoors. However, they can invade properties and search for damp conditions to live in, especially during the winter.

How do I eliminate an infestation of centipedes?

Centipedes feed on other household pests, so once you can eliminate other pests from your property, you'll more than likely get rid of the centipedes as well. Close off entry points and use sticky tapes to trap remaining centipedes.


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