Monday, September 13, 2010

Our Subterranian Monster! The House centepede

Our cute little under furnished apartment is located partly underground. This has caused us to have a few uninvited guests that are grizzly and creepy at the same time. At first, it was an insect that I had never seen before ( there are only about a BILLION different species) so I thought that I should see if I could find out about this one. This picture was taken in our bathroom, a place they apparently LOVE to frequent. Cheryl was understandably creeped out and instructed me to remove it. Now I admit that the creep factor for me differs from bug to bug. Butterflies and certain beetles I find beautiful and interesting. BUT spiders, scorpions and centipedes I find frightening (roaches are the worst!) So, knowing that certain insects MIGHT be venomous, stingy, or "pinch-y", I decided to play it safe and cover it with a cup and slide paper under it to keep it away from human contact. However, this little guy had other ideas! First of all, it is FAST! I meant supersonic spirally roach-like fast! The kind that may you drop the cup, paper and bug as if you picked up a red hot iron! The kind of fast that makes a guy like me jump off the floor yelling "Gyaaaaaaaya!" Luckily it landed in the open toilet ( thanks to Cheryl, who had the foresight to open the lid for the flushing) and we were able to send it to a nice dark and damp dwelling where he could spend the remaining years of its life with fellow creepies. After looking a little online, I was impressed that there were about as many people as I that were having this strange encounter with this creature. They did not know what it was either, but decided to blog about it (Just like myself!) After a little more digging ( no pun intended) I found that this creature is called a "House Centipede". They are apparently "good" for humans in that they eat other troublesome insects, but I believe, as most other folks apparently, that No insect is good for my house. They can stay outside with the rest of the creepy crawlies and let us live in our insect free environment. Here is what the Entomology department of Texas says:
The house centipede (Figure 3), Scutigera coleoptrera, is often seen in and around homes where dampness occurs such as closets, bathrooms or areas underneath homes. House centipedes are nocturnal and search for insects at night. This species of centipede reaches about 1 ½ inches in length and has fifteen pairs of long, slender legs. The back legs are used to capture prey by using a “lassoing” technique. House centipedes are beneficial, but many people consider them a nuisance pest in the home.

A Little side note: If you read further on the texas page, it suggests that you NEVER pick up a centipede because many are poisonous or have sharp fangs and claws that could cut into human skin and cause a rash. Not that I was going to run out and pet one of these things anyway.


Cozy said...

I got bitten by a much bigger one of those hiding in a washcloth when we were living on Guam. I called the base hospital to see what to do and was told you better come to the emergency room. Scared me to death. Turns out other that the bite marks that faded quickly nothing happened. Lucky I guess.

Peacock Tres Chic said...


Our apartment is sub level too. I normally know there's a bug around when one of the cats seems extra attentative to something on the floor. But since they come out mostly at night, when my cats are sleeping, I often find creepies in the bathroom when I get up in the middle of the night. (Pregnant, I do that a lot lol)

Nothing this creey yet though.....


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