Why you should never kill a centipede when you see it in your house

If you are one of those who can’t stand insects, there may be no worse nightmare for you than being at home and discovering a centipedea small thirty-legged bug climbing up the wall or running like lightning across the floor.

Before you start yelling or get ready to smash him with your shoe, think hard first. Is it a centipede? Leave it alone! LHome pest control experts advise that you do nothing to it and allow it to dwell in damp, dark corners that you don’t frequent anyway.

In this note, find out what is the function of centipedes in a house, what is a black centipede and how to act against a bite of this type of bug.


Most of the time, centipedes act as predators of other household insects, spending their days prowling lonely corners in search of cockroaches, ants, spiders, termites, and even beetle larvae.

They do this by means of their forelimbs, which they use as venomous fangs to render their victims useless. Therefore, if you already know that it is a harmless centipede for a human, let it be. Or, failing that, try to send it outside your home but without killing it. He will take care of taking care of other more dangerous or, at least, annoying pests.


On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with the appearance of centipedes in a home. House centipedes, also called scutigera coleoptrata, usually appear in the summer, as they hatch in the spring after wintering. The most common places you can find them will be in damp and poorly lit corners: the faucet, the sink, the bathtub, behind some furniture, the basement, etc.

This does not mean that you should open your doors to these insects, but if you find them running around your house or the wall (because they are also quite fast), try to put them in a jar and release them where they are near tree leaves and humidity.

If you come across them frequently, then you know you have an infestation, but if you see them very occasionally and during the summer, everything is fine, because where there are centipedes, there are hardly any other insects. Again, you’d be much better off not killing them.


These insects are predators and feed on a wide variety of terrestrial invertebrates such as:






In addition, there are also some large, desert-dwelling chilopod species that can hunt larger invertebrates or small vertebrates, such as lizards, snakes, rodents, and bats.

How do they act? These centipedes, when they detect prey, catch it from behind and hold it with their legs while they stick their calipers or mouthpieces to poison them. When the prey is sufficiently poisoned and completely immobilized, they begin to devour them.

Finally, there are also some species that, being omnivorous, feed on plants. It is unlikely that you will see or notice them in your home, but if that is the case, you should first see if it is a pest, and if so, consult a specialist to help you eliminate it, since otherwise Otherwise they can eat all your plants.

Black centipede and bite of a black centipede

Firstly, if you are wondering how to act in the face of bite of a black centipede, you should know that this type is commonly found in North America. Although it can appear in other latitudes, it is not so common.

What if you notice a bite from a black centipede on your body? First, you must identify it: in this case, their bites are painful, with two hemorrhagic punctures, edema and local inflammation.

Taking into account that the venom can cause swelling, pain, and even necrosis in the affected area, it is essential to go to the doctor at the time of discovering the bite of the black centipede. Putting ice on the area can help. However, it is essential to go immediately to an emergency center.

This type of centipede, also called scalpendra, injects venom from the pair of “nails” or fangs in its mouth area. They are functional to their target, since their fangs are hollow to be able to inject the poison.

To recognize them, you must know that black centipedes they are long, thin, with striking coloration. They are also usually flattened and have between 21 and 23 pairs of legs, with only one pair of legs per segment.

Symptoms of a black centipede bite:

  • Secretion.
  • Allergy.
  • Pain in the area.
  • Pruritus.
  • Hives around the body area.
  • Swelling and redness.

Black centipedes: how to keep them away?

Obviously, no one wants to have a black centipede in the home. Avoiding a black centipede bite is not as difficult as it seems. There are some strategies that can be taken into account to protect the home from these unwelcome guests or, at least, reduce the chances of their appearance.

Some of them are:

  • Fumigate the home from time to time.

  • Seal window frames, doors, and cracks in floors or around the home.

  • Dry any area of ​​the house that may retain moisture, as centipedes live in damp places.

  • In the case of finding a black centipede on a surface, crush it with an object but never with your hand or with bare feet.

  • To prevent bites, it is also recommended not to walk without shoes in the yard, field or garden during the summer months.

Other facts about centipedes

Although you already know the most important facts about centipedes, what happens when they bite you, and when and how they appear, there are other facts that can be useful if you want to know everything about them.


Their presence should not surprise you, since they are synanthropic. What does this mean? Nothing more and nothing less than that they are capable of adapting to human urbanization and seek the warmth of our homes.

To avoid pests, you must seal window frames, doors and cracks; and dry any area of ​​the house that may retain moisture


Myth. Most centipedes don’t have a hundred legs. The number of legs, in all cases, depends on the number of segments that make up the body of the insect and varies according to the species. A fully endowed adult centipede can have between 15 and 177 pairs of legs.


As you may have noticed throughout this note, the correct way to write the name of this insect is centipede. But why? The answer is that in Spanish it is not correct to write an N (ene) before a P (pe), so, despite being made up of the words one hundred and feet, the correct spelling changes the «n» to «m ».

In addition, we must also add the tilde to feet because this word is a monosyllable and centipede is a plain word ending in “ese”.

You already know everything about centipedes, what other information would you add?



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