You’ve likely seen a house centipede – it is a slender insect with dozens of thin legs, capable of moving fast from one dark corner to another, and agile enough to run up walls and furniture. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the house centipede and what you can expect when it infests your home.

The legs

A centipede usually has 15 pairs of legs, which means that it has 30 legs in total. It also has two appendages on one end, and two antennae on the other, both of which are longer than the legs. In terms of coloration, the house centipede is generally yellowish-gray with stripes across the length of the body and the legs. This large number of legs helps the centipede move very fast, at a speed of 13 feet-per-second, which is quite a lot considering its small size.

The legs also have other uses. For example, the two legs located right near the head are modified to carry venom, which is quite potent against other small insects, but harmless to humans. Another purpose served by the legs is to hold one or more prey insects.


House centipedes mostly hunt at night. They have excellent vision for an insect and they can use their long antennas to feel their way around, smell, and pick up on vibrations. And they are quite good at hunting, with a high level of aggression that leads them to pick on insects that are dangerous to them, such as wasps.

The infestation

Like any pest, house centipedes will infest a home looking primarily for shelter. As the temperatures start to drop, these insects will need a warm place to live, and if they can find some moisture and some insects for food, all the better. This is why you will usually see them when you turn on the light in the bathroom or in the basement at night.

The good news is that despite their unsettling appearance, house centipedes are not dangerous to humans. Their bite will usually lead to a reddish bump, unless you have an allergy to certain toxins. However, for the majority of people, there are little to no noticeable symptoms.

Besides that, house centipedes are mostly a nuisance, and they are not a pretty sight, especially in large numbers. If you have a house centipede infestation, contact us today and we will help you remove it.