The House Centipede (Scutigera cleoptrata) is a common pest in many parts of North America and unlike most other Centipedes, it can live its entire life inside a building.
The body of a centipede is usually about 1 or 2 inches long, but its 15 pairs of very long legs make it seem much larger. It is yellowish-grey in color with 3 dark stripes extending the full length of it’s back. The legs are quite long in proportion to the body size and have alternate light and dark bands running along them.
In homes the House Centipedes live in damp areas such as cellars, closets, bathrooms and unexcavated areas under the house. The eggs are laid in these same damp places, as well as, behind baseboards and beneath the bark of firewood. They are often trapped accidentally in bathtubs, sinks and lavoratories.
Although the House Centipede can bite, its jaws are weak and usually there is not more than a slight swelling as a result; however there are a few cases on record where the Centipede has inflicted a painful bite.
The House Centipede feeds on small insects and their larvae, it is not attracted to, nor does it feed on, stored foods or fabrics.
This is effected by applying a residual insecticide to all the usual hiding places.
Diazinon and Propoxur formulations are registered for use against Centipedes; some of these formulations can only be purchased, and applied, by Licensed Pesticide Applicators.