Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pay no attention to the caterpillar

This guy lives in my house, well not him but his relatives. It's known as a house centipede and are actually pretty helpful bugs to have living in your house, even if they are a wee bit on the creepy side. They have up to 15 pairs of legs and run at a surprising speed of 16 inches a second. These suckers can really move. They can carry that speed across floors, up walls and even across your ceilings. They also have a pretty long life, you know, for a bug, up to seven years in the right environment. The reason I enjoy having these freaky little guys hanging around? They kill cockroaches, (which as far as I'm aware, we have none of) spiders, ants, termites, silverfish and many other arthropods. There's not really a downside to the house centipede. They are venomous, however, there has never been a reported case of them biting a human. The thought is that their legs, yes I said legs, are not strong enough to puncture human skin and administer their powerful sting. When attacking their prey, they tend to wrap their legs around the other insect, stabbing them repeatedly. Many times, they will still be holding one bug with their mouth, while killing another with their legs. They're also quite smart hunters. When attacking a dangerous insect, such as a wasp, they will attack quickly and then retreat, waiting for the venom to take effect before eating them. They can also detach any legs that may become entangled in a dangerous foes mouth or web, making a hasty escape. If you absolutely loath the idea of these horror movie creatures running through your house, the best way to avoid them is to simply buy a dehumidifier. They cannot survive without some humidity and would quickly retreat outdoors... or to your bathroom and shower. And no matter where in the world you are reading this from, you're still at risk. There's no place safe from a house centipede. I'll be keeping mine around and pretend they're pretty caterpillars that turn into gorgeous butterflies.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Gahhhh. Okay, I can appreciate that they are beneficial. So are bats, but I don't want them in our house! Crawly things like that give me the creeps, especially when they move so fast. I've never seen one in our house, and don't want to! (We do have a dehumidifier in our basement. You can bet we'll be cranking that baby up as the humidity goes up!)

Hugs, Beth