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Freaky facts about house centipedes

In the western United States, homeowners are all too familiar with house centipedes. But while they are very unfortunate looking, house centipedes can actually be helpful to your home. Their main diet is pests – and they eat a lot. But their existence in your home suggests you might have another pest problem, and a phone call to a professional pest control company might be beneficial to figure out exactly what’s hanging around.

House centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata)

House centipedes are fascinating creatures, and there are a few freaky facts about these critters that you might not have known.

They are quite vain.

House centipedes take their self-grooming very seriously, paying special attention to their 15 pairs of legs. After each meal, they spend a significant amount of time cleaning themselves off.

They are very fast.

Their 15 pairs of legs don’t slow them down. House centipedes can run up to 16 inches per second.

They run on their hind legs.

Not only are they fast, but they run “standing up” and only rest their bodies back on the ground when they come to a stop.

They live long lives.

Female house centipedes can live up to a whopping three years, much longer than the single-season lifespan many other insects experience. Some can even live up to five years.

They can regrow their legs.

Legs seem to be a running theme for house centipedes. If one gets removed, they are able to grow it back.

They like water.

It might be an obvious fact, given you often find house centipedes in or around your drains. But they are prone to dehydration, so they always need to be near a water source.

They have poisonous fangs.

Don’t let their fangs scare you, though. While they are poisonous to household pests, they’re not big enough to break your skin – at least not most North American kinds.

People in Japan keep them as pets.

That wasn’t a typo – they are pets, not pests, in Japan. And they can get quite big. They are called “geji” or “good bugs” because they rid homes of other worse pests.

Regardless of whether or not they are “geji,” if you are finding a disturbingly large number of them in your home, it might be a good idea to call your local exterminators in Washington. Pest control experts like Western Exterminator can help you determine the best course of action in handling these many-legged min-monsters.

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