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Here's Why It's Better Not To Squash A House Centipede

Updated 6 months ago on April 6, 2020
By Lifehack Lane

Centipedes are hardly the most glamorous of creatures, and if you happen to have the misfortune of stepping on one, you'll be in for quite the surprise, as Lifehack Lane discovered. Click Next to find out more

That being said, while its synonyms aren't exactly flattering, delve a little deeper into their anatomy and you may discover that they are quite interesting. For example, did you know they have no backbone?

With no backbone, it is their hard outer skin, or exoskeleton, that holds them in place whilst their legs have no joints either.

There are many different species of centipede with, what is referred to as the common house centipede, actually being a catch-all term for a whole range of species.

There are those who find the large amount of legs and scuttling movements of centipedes disturbing but it is these characteristics that allow them to cling to sheer surfaces as well as move up to up to 1.3 feet per second.

Originating from the Medditeraenean region, centipedes prefer warm, damp places hence why they will often make their way into homes from outside. As such, many people fear them and often point to the fact they are venomous as a reason why.

But house centipedes can't really harm humans and can struggle to even pierce the skin. Many will scurry away from humans on sight but they shouldn't be dismissed so readily as they have their uses.

Being insectivores, centipedes actually eat other insects including disease spreading ones such as flies and mosquitos. Their long legs can hold onto numerous victims at once whilst their venom is strong enough to dispatch these smaller prey. Centipedes don't actually bite though but rather sting using  "forcipules,” which are adapted legs found close to their mouths, to inject it.

So despite their rather gruesome and unnerving appearance, they are largely harmless to human beings and serve a helpful purpose within the life cycle of other creatures and in the prevention of the spread of disease and illness. A lot of the time it can be their size that it off-putting as well but they are no more likely dangerous just because they are a little on the larger side.

However, if you don't wish them to visit your property, a good way to discourage them is to use a dehumidifier as they prefer moist places. Moving piles of wood and leaves away from your house will also discourage them as they like to hide away in these sorts of places.

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